Quality of Life Following CyberKnife Treatment for Prostate Cancer

October 09, 2013

By Robert M. Meier, MD
Radiation Oncology Medical Director, Swedish Radiosurgery Center

The Swedish Radiosurgery Center is the lead site in a national multi-institutional study evaluating CyberKnife for treating men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer (clinical stage 2). As the principal investigator of this study, I reported on the quality of life outcomes at the annual meeting of American Society of Radiation Oncology.

We now know that in low-risk prostate cancer patients (stage 1), active surveillance is a safe option. But men with intermediate-risk cancer have a significant risk of dying of their disease, so intervention is necessary. Conventional treatments (surgery, radioactive seed implants and external beam radiotherapy) can adversely affect patients’ quality of life. We sought to determine if the unprecedented accuracy of CyberKnife treatment would translate into improvement in these patients’ quality of life.

We treated 137 patients at 21 different centers. 99% of these men remain cancer free at 5 years. Shortly after treatment, patients experienced temporary bowel and urinary side effects which resolved within a couple of months. Urinary and bowel quality of life were no different from baseline two and three years after treatment. These outcomes appear to be more favorable than those reported with other radiation treatment approaches.

This study suggests CyberKnife is a valuable option for men with organ-confined prostate cancer. An additional benefit is that this treatment requires only 5 one-hour sessions, allowing men to quickly return to their normal routine. Click here to visit the CyberKnife prostate page for additional information.