CHICAGO, Ill. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Every year in the United States as many as 161,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. Treatments include surgery, radiation, or both. One type of radiation is brachytherapy or the planting of radioactive seeds inside the prostate. Now, a new study shows one type of seed may reduce long-term symptoms and side effects.
Dave Ricordati was 56 when doctors diagnosed him with prostate cancer. His first thought was about his wife Kathy and their three children.
“Our youngest daughter is getting married in March and I want to walk her down the aisle. These are all the things you worry about as a dad, as a husband that you’re going to miss out,” Ricordati told Ivanhoe.
Dave didn’t want surgery to remove the prostate.
Ricordati continued, “Quite honestly, I wanted to have sex and intimacy after the treatment and I don’t think that treatment provided those options.”
Instead, Dr. Brian Moran, Medical Director of the Chicago Prostate Center treated Dave with brachytherapy. He recently studied the effectiveness of an isotope called Cesium-131. It’s designed to deliver the radiation dose with less concern about the patient exposing children and pets to radiation.
“Some patients come in and say you know, ‘doctor, I can’t be radioactive for six months,’ or it’s usually five half-lifes. With cesium there’s some element of radiation present for a month,” Dr. Moran explained. (Read Full Interview)
Seventy-two-year-old Lee Gimbel is a volunteer with Alzheimer’s patients. He wanted a treatment that would get him back to normal quickly.
“It was rather fast. Rather routine. It felt better than having anything surgical,” Gimbel stated.
Dave Ricordati is back to playing men’s floor hockey. A hobby he was afraid he would have had to give up if he had surgery.
Ricordati said, “This is the least side effects with the same cure rate. I don’t know why anybody would pick anything else to be honest.”
Doctor Moran recently completed a randomized study of the Cesium-131 isotope and found it was just as effective as other isotopes in the radiation seeds. Moran says patients with stage one and stage two cancers that have not spread outside the prostate are good candidates for brachytherapy.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Field and Supervising Producer; Gabriella Battistiol, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.
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TOPIC: CESIUM FOR PROSTATE CANCER
REPORT: MB #4346
BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer occurs in a small, walnut-shaped gland in men that produces the seminal fluid to nourish and transport sperm. It is one of the most common types of cancer in men, usually growing slowly and confined initially to the prostate gland. Some types need minimal or even no treatment; however, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly. There may be no signs or symptoms in its early stages, but more advanced stages may cause signs and symptoms such as decreased force in the stream of urine, blood in semen, erectile dysfunction, trouble urinating or discomfort in the pelvic area and bone pain. It is not clear what causes prostate cancer, but risk factors include aging, family history, race, and obesity. Complications include cancer that spreads, incontinence, and erectile dysfunction. You can reduce your risk by choosing a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables, exercise most days of the week, maintain a healthy weight, and choose healthy foods over supplements.
BRACHYTHERAPY: Brachytherapy is one of the more advanced cancer treatments. It involves radioactive seeds or sources being placed in or near the tumor itself, giving a high dose of radiation to the tumor while reducing radiation exposure to the surrounding healthy tissue. Thin catheters are first placed in the tumor, and then connected to a High-Dose Rate (HDR) afterloader. The machine contains one single highly radioactive pellet at the end of the wire, and it is pushed into each of the catheters under computer control. The computer controls how long the pellet stays in the catheter and where it should pause to release its radiation. It can provide very precise treatment that only takes a few minutes, and after a series of treatments, the catheters are removed and there are no radioactive seeds left in the body.
NEW TECHNOLOGY: Patients undergoing prostate brachytherapy with cesium 131 had excellent oncological outcomes at 5 years. Continual follow up is required to asses further the true cancer control ability of cesium 131, but intermediate-term outcomes show good results. With a growing base of clinical experience, one study followed 485 patients of different risk groups treated with cesium 131 to measure if the disease progressed; at five years 98 percent of men with low risk disease showed no evidence of disease progression. Another randomized study found the cesium 131 isotope was just as effective as other isotopes in the radiation seeds.
(Source: https://isoray.com/treatment/prostate-brachytherapy-cancer-treatment/ and Brain Moran, MD)
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