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Semin Oncol. 1997 Dec;24(6):745-55.

A rational approach to the treatment of prostate cancer with radiation therapy: lessons for the future.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Karmanos Cancer Institute/Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.


The widespread use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) has revealed that radiation therapy cures adenocarcinoma of the prostate less frequently than previously believed. Biologic factors (such as the complex nature of this disease) and technical factors (geographic miss, inadequate dose to the tumor volume) affect the ability of radiation to effectively treat all patients with prostate cancer. To improve treatment outcome, patients with virulent forms of the disease must be identified. The use of prognostic markers (PSA, prostate-specific membrane antigen, prostate-specific antigen doubling time) and genetic markers (12 lipoxygenase, p53, bcl-2, ploidy) may aid in the development of treatments for these patients. Technical modifications have been made to increase the total dose delivered to the prostate and the accuracy of dose delivery. Brachytherapy, proton therapy and conformal radiation therapy have been used to increase the relative integral dose. Improved prostate targeting may be achieved with the use of fiducial markers, on-line portal imaging, and endorectal magnetic resonance imaging. High linear energy transfer radiation, radiosensitizers and altered fractionation have been used in an attempt to increase the biologic equivalent dose to the tumor. Lastly, hormonal therapy and chemotherapy have been shown to decrease tumor burden and improve local control. All of these methods may improve outcome in patients with adenocarcinoma of the prostate. However, further work must be completed to translate these methods into standards of care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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