In the last 25 years, radiation treatment for prostate cancer has undergone revolutionary advances thanks to new technology. Prostate cancer radiation treatment is now more effective than ever—and causes fewer side effects.
Most prostate cancers are now diagnosed while they are still in the prostate and have not spread. Prostate cancer that has not yet spread (known as “localized” cancer) can be treated—and often cured—through radiation therapy.
At Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care we offer a high-intensity, five treatment course of radiation therapy known as Think Five.
The Think Five Approach
With Think Five, your entire course of radiation therapy is delivered in only five treatments—vs. the standard of up to 45 treatments.
How does this work?
- We use a highly precise type of external-beam radiation called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).
- SBRT allows us to accurately target the prostate and destroy the cancerous cells within it.
- Because this type of radiation therapy is so precise, we can deliver higher doses of radiation at each visit. This approach allows you to complete the full course of radiation therapy for prostate cancer in as little as one week.
The Think Five approach is part of the full scope of treatments available at Valley’s Urologic Oncology Program.
Think Five Safety and Effectiveness
We deliver SBRT using the Varian TrueBeam™ linear accelerator combined with a prostate targeting system (BrainLab ExacTrac Dynamic) that accounts for your body’s movements. This level of precision greatly increases the safety and effectiveness of these treatments.
Valley’s Think Five approach follows years of research and clinical trials that have shown the effectiveness of less frequent, higher-dose radiation treatments.
This advanced technology:
- Increases our ability to visualize the detailed anatomy surrounding your prostate
- Accounts for subtle movements that occur naturally, such as while you are breathing
- Automatically corrects prostate position and alignment during treatment
The entire course of treatment is delivered over five short visits with no restrictions on your activity, personal contacts, or ability to work.
Benefits of Think Five Prostate Cancer Radiation
- Less impact on your schedule: Previously, radiation therapy for prostate cancer meant daily radiation treatments five days a week for up to nine weeks. While that treatment works very well, the frequent travel to radiation appointments can take a toll. Our approach allows you to complete your entire course of radiation treatment in only five total visits.
- Less time on the radiation table: Using SBRT, we can deliver the radiation quickly—within five minutes of treatment time. This is much shorter than the time other systems (including CyberKnife) need to deliver the same level of radiation. That means less time in which your prostate may move out of place—and a lower risk that healthy tissue may be affected.
- More time getting back to your life: With fewer total visits, you have more time to live your life how you want—away from the hospital.
Who is a Candidate for Think Five Radiation Therapy?
Our team of prostate cancer experts will help you understand your disease risk. We will discuss with you whether you are a good candidate for this faster approach.
Think Five is recommended for patients with:
- Localized prostate cancer, meaning the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body
- Low, intermediate, and selected patients with high disease risk, which is determined using a number of clinical factors, including the aggressiveness of the cancer
- Selected patients with limited disease outside of the prostate
Why Choose Valley for Prostate Cancer Radiation
- Fewer side effects through precision: Your decision whether to treat prostate cancer vs. choose active surveillance will typically factor in the risks and benefits of treatment. With radiation therapy that is extremely precise, many of the risks and side effects of treatment (like erectile dysfunction and bowel dysfunction) are severely reduced, if not eliminated. That’s why Valley invests in the very latest radiation technology—like the ExacTrac Dynamic system—to provide patients with the highest level of precision, effectiveness and safety.
- SpaceOAR™ hydrogel: As an additional level of safety, we use SpaceOAR™ hydrogel during treatment to separate the prostate from the rectum. This separation allows our team to protect the rectum from radiation, and through that, preserve normal bowel function. This also allows us to treat your prostate cancer with higher doses of radiation in a shorter period.
- Team approach to treatment recommendations: Valley’s Urologic Oncology Program brings together prostate cancer experts to discuss each case and come to a joint treatment recommendation. That means you will hear one opinion about how to address your cancer from radiation oncologists, urologic surgeons and medical oncologists. In that way, you can feel confident moving forward with treatment vs. watching and waiting—or vice versa.