MONDAY May 20, 2013 — The costly form of radiation therapy that has become the norm for prostate cancer in the United States may be no better than the older, cheaper variety — at least for some men, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that among more than 1,000 U.S. men who had radiation therapy after prostate cancer surgery, the newer form — known as intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) — had no advantage over the conventional version.
Men who received IMRT were no less likely to be treated for a prostate cancer recurrence over the next few years. And their rates of long-term side effects — such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction — were no lower.
“I think the question is, when is the new technology helpful, and when is it not?” Chen said. “We need to be smart about how we use technology.”
The new findings suggest that when it comes to radiation given after surgery, “newer” does not mean “better.”