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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1998 Sep 1;42(2):299-304.

Conformal proton therapy for prostate carcinoma.

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Department of Radiation Medicine, Loma Linda University Medical Center, CA 92354, USA.



The role and optimum dose of radiation to eradicate prostate cancer continues to be evaluated. Protons offer an opportunity to increase the radiation dose to the prostate while minimizing treatment toxicity.


Six hundred forty-three patients with localized prostate cancer were treated with protons, with or without photons. Treatments were planned with a 3D planning system; patients received 74-75 CGE (Cobalt Gray Equivalent) at 1.8-2.0 CGE per fraction. Patients were evaluated for response to therapy and treatment-related toxicity.


The overall clinical disease-free survival rate was 89% at 5 years. When post-treatment prostate-specific antigen (PSA) was used as an endpoint for disease control, the 4.5-year disease-free survival rate was 100% for patients with an initial PSA of < 4.0 ng/ml, and 89%, 72%, and 53% for patients with initial PSA levels of 4.1-10.0, 10.1-20.0, and > 20.0, respectively. Patients in whom the post-treatment PSA nadir was below 0.5 ng/ml did significantly better than those whose nadir values were between 0.51-1.0 or > 1.0 ng/ml: the corresponding 5-year disease-free survival rates were 91%, 79%, and 40%, respectively. Minimal radiation proctitis was seen in 21% of patients; toxicity of greater severity was seen in less than 1%.


Proton therapy to 74-75 CGE produced minimal treatment-related toxicity and excellent PSA normalization and disease-free survival in patients with low initial PSA levels. A prospective randomized dose-escalation trial is now underway to help define the optimum dose of radiation for patients with early stage prostate cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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