Research Shows 98% Cure Rate for Prostate Cancer Using Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy

According to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, a five-year study shows that stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) to treat prostate cancer offers a higher cure rate than more traditional approaches like prostatectomy, brachytherapy or external beam radiation. 

The study, the first trial to publish five-year results from SBRT treatment for prostate cancer, found a 98.6 percent cure rate with SBRT, a noninvasive form of radiation treatment that involves high-dose radiation beams entering the body through various angles and intersecting at the desired target.  It is a state-of-the-art technology that allows for a concentrated dose to reach the tumor, while limiting the radiation dose to surrounding healthy tissue. 

In addition to higher cure rates, SBRT treatment times for prostate cancer are shorter, and researchers found that side effects were not necessarily different compared to other forms of prostate cancer treatment.  In the short term, the side effects of SBRT can include urinary issues and rectal irritation, which are often temporary and reverse within four weeks of treatment.  Decrease in erectile function was seen in 25 percent of patients, fewer than with conventional radiation or surgery. 

“The high cure rate is striking when compared to the reported five-year cure rates from other approaches like surgery or conventional radiation, which range between 80 to 90 percent, while the side effects of this treatment are comparable to other types of treatment,” said Dr. Raquibul Hannan, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology and lead author for the study.  “What we now have is a more potent and effective form of completely noninvasive treatment for prostate cancer, conveniently completed in five treatments.” 

At the CyberKnife Center of Chicago, a part of the Edward-Elmhurst Health system, men diagnosed with prostate cancer are treated with SBRT with the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System.  CyberKnife is a painless, nonsurgical prostate cancer treatment technology in which high-dose radiation is delivered to the tumor from a linear accelerator mounted on a highly maneuverable robotic arm.  Hundreds of different angles enable the radiation to be contoured to the shape of the prostate, resulting in treatment aimed directly to the prostate gland, avoiding nearby critical anatomy.  This precision reduces treatment time to just five outpatient visits, compared to the average 40 – 45 visits conventional radiation therapy requires. 

To learn more about how the CyberKnife Center of Chicago treats prostate cancer, please click here