A global study has found that long term results of fast neutron radiotherapy (FNRT) is effective in the treatment of localized prostate cancer.

Scientists from the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine (WSU SOM) in Detroit will present the study at the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology Annual meeting on November 2.

Researchers analyzed the results of multiple clinical trials held from 1992 to 2007. As many as 1,006 patients were treated with a combination of photon radiotherapy and FNRT. This is the largest ever study in the world.

Lead author of the study, Tushar Kumar, M.D. a former radiation oncologist at Karmanos and WSU SOM said the purpose of the current study was to report on the long-term outcome and toxicity levels of patients treated with FNRT. Almost 60 percent of the patients were alive at the time of analysis.

Dr. Kumar informs that FNRT isn’t a new technology and in fact is being used since 1938. But, it gained popularity in the 1980s. However, without the use of this current technology, there were substantial side-effects found during the earlier world-wide trials, he added. The unique technology and a systematic clinical approach were found to be safe with excellent clinical results.

Researchers examined the effects of FNRT in the treatment of low, intermediate and high-risk prostate cancer cases. Overall survival and biochemical progression-free survival were analyzed within risk groups where post-radiotherapy hormones were used. Researchers also studied the levels of genitourinary (GI) and gastrointestinal (GU) toxicity in patients.

The use of hormone therapy improved overall survival chances among low and intermediate risk groups, though not in high-risk groups.

Dr. Kumar also informed that intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer may have a better benefit from FNRT and many cancer types such as sarcomas, melanomas, brain cancers, resistant lung cancers and head and neck cancers can be treated using this technology.