ASTRO on proton therapy: More research needed

March 18, 2013

The American Society for Radiation Oncology’s board of directors recently approved a statement regarding the use of proton beam therapy for prostate cancer, presumably due to recent reports suggesting the treatment provides little long-term benefit over traditional radiation despite its higher cost.

The American Society for Radiation Oncology’s board of directors recently approved a statement regarding the use of proton beam therapy for prostate cancer, presumably due to recent reports suggesting the treatment provides little long-term benefit over traditional radiation despite its higher cost.

"While proton beam therapy is not a new technology, its use in the treatment of prostate cancer is evolving," the statement reads. "ASTRO strongly supports allowing for coverage with evidence development for patients treated on clinical trials or within prospective registries. ASTRO believes that collecting data in these settings is essential to informing consensus on the role of proton therapy for prostate cancer, especially insofar as it is important to understand how the effectiveness of proton therapy compares to other radiation therapy modalities such as IMRT and brachytherapy."

"The comparative efficacy evidence of proton beam therapy is still being developed," said Michael L. Steinberg, MD, ASTRO chairman. “We look forward to new and innovative research that will more clearly define the role of proton beam therapy for localized prostate cancer among the currently available treatment options."

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