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Prostate Cancer

Number of Radiation Treatments After Surgery

02/26/2007

Question:

What determines the number of treatments for salvage radiation after RP?

Answer:

Great question!

I do not know for sure but here are my thoughts. First, there typically isn't much cancer present (usually less than one gram) and in comparison to the situation when the cancer is in an intact prostate there is much less cancer tissue to kill. Second, there have not been rigorous trials in which a variety of doses were given to a large number of similar men to learn which is the best dose, field size, number of treatments and overall optimum duration of treatment.

It is my impression that current recommendations are empirically based on general principals of radiation therapy.

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Response by:

R Bruce  Bracken, MD R Bruce Bracken, MD
Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati