Radiation Therapy Overused in Advanced Prostate Cancer, Study Says

October 9, 2013

A study published this week in JAMA, led byJustin Bekelman, MD, an assistant professor of Radiation Oncology in the Abramson Cancer Center, found that, despite evidence indicating that a single radiation treatment provides just as much relief of pain and other symptoms to patients with prostate cancer that has spread to their bones as multiple treatments, more than 95 percent of these patients undergo more than one session of the therapy. The findings indicate that health care costs are driven up for these terminally ill patients without providing any additional benefits to them. "We know that it takes time for clinical trial evidence to get into routine practice. But these findings are nonetheless surprising," Bekelman told HealthDay News . "The fact is, this is a good treatment that's better for patients. It's effective, it's more convenient, and better for their quality of life. Single-fraction treatment should be the standard of care." The study was also covered by KYW NewsRadio and the Daily RX.