Marshfield Clinic radiation oncologist leads prostate cancer research project
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death for men. About 230,000 men are diagnosed each year and about 30,000 die of the disease.
Marshfield Clinic Minocqua Center radiation oncologist Dr. Baruch Kahana is currently leading a study through the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation to determine which treatment option has produced the best outcomes for prostate cancer patients.
Currently, there are three main methods for treating prostate cancer, or a combination of one or more of the three methods. There is surgery, external beam radiation and/or prostate seed implants (brachytherapy). This research study is investigating the outcomes that the clinic system has achieved over time with patients who have undergone these treatments.
External beam radiation, which requires nine weeks of radiation given five days a week, utilizes a high-energy linear accelerator to direct the beam precisely to the targeted treatment area. In radiation therapy, the goal is to kill all the cancer cells while preserving adjacent tissue.
Brachytherapy involves the implantation of “seeds,” which are tiny capsules of radioactive material the size of a grain of rice, into the prostate using needles guided by ultrasound imaging. The seeds, which are permanent, become totally inactive after about a year. The prostate seed implants target radiation to the prostate, avoiding radiation exposure to healthy cells.
Surgery involves the surgical removal of cancerous tumors and surrounding tissue.
“The goal of this research is to closely examine the methods that were used and determine what has worked best, producing the best outcomes for our patients,” said Dr. Kahana. “We can then compare our data to other cancer treatment centers nationwide to see if our methods were more effective, or less effective, than theirs and, if our results were different, find out why. Sharing our data and learning from other organizations benefits our patients.”
This study is funded through philanthropic gifts to Marshfield Clinic in support of cancer research. To learn more about how to support cancer research at Marshfield Clinic, visit marshfieldclinic.org/giving or call the Development Department at (800) 858-5220.