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From the Winter 2018 Quest
Examining things in a different way can illuminate something essential. ©Dan Oldfield
Three major medical organizations have jointly endorsed hypofractionated external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) as an option for patients with localized prostate cancer who choose to treat their disease with radiation.

With hypofractionated radiation therapy, also called short-course radiation, the patient has fewer treatment sessions with each session delivering higher doses of radiation. Hypofractionated radiation therapy is administered over 4-5 weeks, which is half the time used for conventional radiation treatment.

The guidelines panel said evidence showed that short-course radiation treatment is similarly effective for treating localized prostate cancer and has similar side effects as standard radiation therapy. However, there is a small increased risk of short-term gastrointestinal toxicity, and there is limited data on cancer outcomes beyond 5 years after treatment.

The guideline is not for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer or for post-operative radiation therapy.

The endorsement was published in an evidence-based guideline statement simultaneously in three journals: Practical Radiation Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and The Journal of Urology. The guideline was developed in collaboration with the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Urological Association, and the American Society for Radiation Oncology.


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