Prostate cancer radiotherapy 2002: the way forward.
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In November 2000, the GU Radiation Oncologists of Canada had their first meeting, "Controversies in prostate cancer radiotherapy: consensus development". The success of this meeting prompted a second meeting, held in December 2002 to discuss "The Way Forward" in prostate radiotherapy. Radiation oncologists from across Canada were brought together and integrated with key opinion leaders in prostate cancer treatment from throughout North America. The group debated current controversies including: intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), external beam hypofractionation, high dose-rate brachytherapy, and hormone therapy in the management of prostate cancer. The meeting also sought to identify and prioritize clinical trial opportunities and to highlight steps required to achieve these research goals. In summary, advances involving IMRT have enabled the use of higher radiation doses without increasing morbidity. With renewed interest in hypofractionated radiation schedules, the value of hypofractionation using IMRT was discussed and initial results from ongoing clinical trials were presented. The emerging role for high dose-rate brachytherapy in higher risk patients was also discussed. Based on existing preliminary evidence the group expressed enthusiasm for further investigation of the role for brachytherapy in intermediate to high-risk patients. Despite significant advances in radiotherapy, hormone therapy continues to play an important role in prostate cancer treatment for patients with intermediate and high-risk disease. Although evidence supports the effectiveness of hormone therapy, the optimal timing, and duration of hormonal treatment are unclear. Results from ongoing clinical trials will provide insight into these questions and will assist in the design of future clinical trials.
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