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Researchers Studying Value of Shorter, More Intense Treatment for Prostate Cancer

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center are participating in a large, multi-site national research study comparing two radiation therapy regimens for treating early stage prostate cancer.

The study will compare the conventional eight-week course of treatment to five-and-a-half weeks of treatment using a larger daily dose of radiation.

“The optimum radiation schedule for the curative treatment of prostate cancer remains unknown,” said W. Robert Lee, M.D., M.S., a radiation oncologist at Wake Forest Baptist and principal investigator of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) sponsored study. “Comparing these regimens, we expect to demonstrate that similar results can be achieved with the shorter regimen with increased patient convenience and significant health care savings.”

Prostate cancer patients receiving external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) typically are treated five days per week for eight weeks. In the past five years a growing body of evidence has been published suggesting that a long treatment regimen may not be the optimal schedule.

Over the course of the 10-year study, more than 1,000 patients will be recruited from more than 50 participating institutions. Eligible patients include those with early stage prostate cancer (T1-2, Gleason score of 6 or less and a PSA level of <10). This population of patients is growing, as PSA screening is identifying early cases.

For more information on the study, call Rebecca Bishop at 336-713-6518.

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Media Contacts: Jonnie Rohrer, jrohrer@wfubmc.edu, 336-716-6972; Shannon Koontz, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, or Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, at 336-716-4587.

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University School of Medicine. It is licensed to operate 1,282 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

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