Icon has announced new Australian data that shows high-tech precision radiation can prevent treatment escalation for more than two years (27.1 months), improving the prognosis of advanced prostate cancer patients with early metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body).
The Australian study, published in the International Journal of Cancer is the world’s largest prostate cancer trial of its kind, treating men with up to five prostate cancer metastases. It was led by experts from Icon Cancer Centre in Melbourne, funded by Epworth Medical Foundation and EJ Whitten Foundation.
Nearly 200 men from across Australia were given stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), an advanced form of therapy capable of providing radiation high doses, to small areas of cancer while sparing healthy tissue. Each treatment lasts less than 10 minutes and is delivered over a two week period. The results show 50 per cent of patients were free from treatment escalation for two years, and importantly, no patient experienced any severe long term side effects.
“This new Australian data gives hope to men living with metastatic prostate cancer. Unfortunately, this is an incurable condition with life expectancy of about five years. It is therefore extremely promising to see precision radiation therapy delay treatment progression for more than two years.
“About 25 per cent of patients in the study had less cancer burden three years after SBRT than they did before they received it, despite having no other treatment. A very small percentage of men have a zero PSA reading more than three years after the SBRT. They potentially have been cured, although we need longer follow up to confirm this finding” said Dr Pat Bowden, Icon Cancer Centre Principal Investigator and Radiation Oncologist.
74,-year-old, Bill Gason was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015. After a radical prostatectomy, Bill’s PSA levels dropped and he was referred to Dr Bowden for radiation therapy treatment, before being recruited to the clinical trial. For Bill, the trial has shown positive results, and for the past two years his PSA levels have remained low.
“I’ve had no side effects, no problems, and I feel well, I’m grateful for the care I’ve received,” said Bill.
In Australia, 18,000 men receive a prostate cancer diagnosis each year and 15,000 men are currently living with metastatic prostate cancer. Standard treatment options include hormone therapy and chemotherapy which are often associated with negative side effects. One of the main advantages of SBRT is in delaying these more toxic treatments, thereby improving the quality of life for men in this difficult situation.