NEWER Radiation Treatment Offered to Prostate Patients Shrinks Tumors & Time

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Jill Chadwick

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            Gary Dalsing, prostate cancer patient at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, says he feels “tremendous” following his fifth and final radiation treatment in under two weeks.  “Initially they said I would need 40- plus treatments over eight weeks which is the standard,” Dalsing said. “But after a few tests, they told me I was a good candidate for stereotactic radiation which meant fewer visits with the same outcome.”

            Stereotactic radiation is a treatment that targets cancerous tumors in a very precise way … blasting them from several angles with a higher intensity beam. Higher doses mean fewer treatment visits which greatly improves the patient’s quality of life.  The University of Kansas Cancer Center is the first to offer stereotactic radiation to prostate cancer patients. First, three tiny beacons were placed in Dalsing’s prostate to carefully map the exact target of the radiation.

            “With stereotactic radiation, we give a much higher dose compared to conventional radiation,” Steve Howard, radiation physicist explained.  “Because it is such a high dose, we must perfectly position the beam.”

            The University of Kansas Cancer Center has the latest image guidance technology and is currently the only treatment center in the area to offer stereotactic radiation to prostate patients.

            “So far the data has shown that it is very good treatment,” said Vicki Massey, MD, Dalsing’s oncologist at The University of Kansas Cancer Center. “The side-effects are very similar to conventional radiation treatments with sometimes even fewer side-effects.  Because we’re able to precision our beam in a tighter field, patients often report less fatigue and other symptoms.”

            Dalsing’s prognosis is very good.  “Let me put it this way,” Dalsing said.  “The doctor says after stereotactic radiation, it won’t be prostate cancer that gets me.” 

            In the video, Gary Dalsing talks more about his cancer and how he felt during treatment.  Steve Howard shows where the beacons are placed and explains more about stereotactic radiation while Dr. Massey shares why she recommends it over traditional therapies as well as shows us beacons used to provide stereotactic radiation to breast cancer patients.