Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is a highly precise type of radiation, and a recent clinical trial suggests it may be a safer form of treating lymph nodes in prostate cancer patients.
You can read the entire article here: “Precision Lymph Node Radiotherapy Could Improve Prostate Cancer Outcomes, Study Suggests.”
The recently published International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics article, suggests this method of radiation can significantly improve outcomes by minimizing radiation to the surrounding healthy tissue. Conventional radiation to pelvic lymph nodes in localized prostate cancer is somewhat controversial as this form of treatment can have toxic effects involving surrounding healthy tissue in the gut and bladder. Researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in the U.K., recruited 447 advanced prostate cancer patients whose cancer had not yet spread. Study participants were placed in 5 different groups receiving varying doses and different number of radiotherapy sessions. Researchers compared a hypofractionation approach, in which patients received larger doses of radiation in fewer sessions, versus a traditional schedule. What the study found was that although patients received radiation to the pelvic area, toxicity was manageable; between 8-16% of patients experienced bowel or bladder side effects. Perhaps this study will change the way radiotherapy is viewed today- far surpassing its first use over a century ago.