National Association for Proton Therapy Responds to ASTRO
WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Radiation oncologists,
urologists and other physicians who treat men with prostate cancer should not
limit a patient's treatment options by suggesting only one form of radiation,
says the National Association for Proton Therapy.
"Patients and physicians have a number of options when approaching prostate
cancer," says Leonard Arzt, Executive Director of the National Association for
Proton Therapy (NAPT). "We believe that all options, including proton therapy,
should be available through an informed decision making process. The choice of
treatment will have an enormous impact on the patient's health and ability to
enjoy his life. Patients have a right to know what is available to them."
After a careful review of all of the available peer-reviewed literature on
proton therapy, in 2011 an expert panel from the American College of Radiology
concluded that proton therapy is equally appropriate and as beneficial as IMRT,
3-D conformal X-ray therapy and brachytherapy in treating Stages T1 and T2
Consistent with a recent statement from the American Society for Radiation
Oncology (ASTRO) that suggests prostate cancer patients referred for proton
therapy should be in "a prospective clinical trial or registry," most prostate
cancer patients currently being treated with proton therapy in the US are in a
clinical trial or a registry. Although there are more than 6 dozen proton
therapy studies currently accruing patients in the US, the fact is that adopting
new techniques in radiation therapy has never been based on the results of
prospective randomized data. New approaches, including IMRT and 3-D conformal
X-ray, have been adopted as soon as they became available, in large part because
radiation is known to be harmful and techniques that expose patients to less
harm have been welcome.
Proton therapy for prostate cancer is clinically proven to benefit patients
while causing fewer changes in quality of life than either IMRT or 3DCRT. Proton
therapy treatment also reduces the risk of a second malignancy, when compared
with contemporary IMRT. Studies have demonstrated little to no decline in
genitourinary and gastrointestinal function for men treated with proton therapy
and a faster return to pre-treatment function, compared to standard X-ray
Ninety nine percent of proton therapy patients believe they made the right
choice, according to an NAPT survey released in February 2013. Conducted by The
Brotherhood of the Balloon, the study included results from one fifth of all men
who had received proton therapy for prostate cancer.
"Surely all prostate cancer patients deserve the opportunity to choose a therapy
that causes fewer side effects during treatment and fewer adverse changes in
their long term lifestyles while offering benefits equal to other radiation,"
Mr. Arzt says.
The National Association for Proton Therapy (NAPT) is a non-profit organization
supported by proton center members and is "The Voice of the Proton Community".
The NAPT promotes education and public awareness for the clinical benefits of
proton beam radiation therapy. Founded in 1990, NAPT is an advocate for the
advancement and future access of proton therapy. It provides the number one
website for patients, physicians, health care providers and the news media.
NAPT's site is www.proton-therapy.org.
SOURCE National Association for Proton Therapy