Aug 30, 2011 - 7:41 am
I am done with a 28 treatment proton therapy plan at the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute Center in Jacksonville. Initial PSA 5.5 Gleason 6 and T1c score. First let me say that Proton Therapy for my low grade prostate cancer was the best solution for me. I am relatively young, still play volleyball, swim and do other physical activities that could have been compromised with surgery, IMRT or radioactive pellets all of which damage sensitive nerves and tissues around the prostate more than Proton Therapy. I web researched Proton Therapy when I was making my decision and found some papers presented on it at the University of Penn. showing that this treatment protocol is the way that many Drs. in proton therapy are leaning. I have no more side effects (changes in urinary sensation and other minor changes)than my peers doing the 39 treatment proto and all of them have subsided significantly since I stopped treatment 3 weeks ago. I was able to work normally through treatment and have not had any interruption in any of my normal physical activities and bodily functions. The protocol goal is to accomplish the same results as the longer course by using higher individual proton doses but reducing the overall total body dose of radiation. (a plus in my book) UFPTI says that they have had no change in reported side effects or overall effectiveness using this protocol. Contact them for more info. The advantage to me are having to undergo 11 less treatments and therefore reducing my treatment bill by +/-20%. My doctor at UFPTI said that the Institute is planning to make this protocol their primary treatment for prostate cancer within the next year or two. The advantage to the center is that this protocol allows them to treat 20% more patients! The biggest disadvantage of Proton Therapy is the low number of Proton Centers and the expense of living away from home during treatment. Outcomes are only a few years old so not instructive at this point. The overall outcomes of Proton Therapy going back 15 years at Loma Linda are far better than other therapies. Check with UFPTI about their success and side effect rates. The UFPTI website is http://www.floridaproton.org/
For more info on prostate cancer treatment by proton therapy, contact the Brotherhood of the Balloon blogs of proton prostate cancer recipients. http://www.protonbob.com/proton-treatment-homepage.asp Robert Markini is collecting the experiences of men who have gone through the short course for posting on the blogs there.
By the way, the Proton Center is doing treatment for lung, pancreatic, brain and spinal cord cancers. They are starting a protocol on breast cancer at UFPTI.