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Cheaper, more aggressive prostate cancer treatment may also be riskier

Posts: 261
Joined: Sep 2010

Guys trying to chose between SBRT and IMRT may find the following study helpful:


Posts: 1013
Joined: Mar 2010

"Yu, senior author Dr. Cary Gross and their colleagues found that the mean per-patient cost to Medicare for a course of SBRT was about $13,600, compared to $21,000 for IMRT. The team found that at 24 months after the start of the treatment, there were increased side effects for SBRT compared to IMRT, due to urethral irritation, urinary incontinence, and obstruction. However, even when including the cost of treating complications, the overall medical costs due to SBRT were still lower than that of IMRT."

UCSF charges over $70k for CK which is a form of SBRT.  So, I'm not sure what form of SBRT Medicare charges only $13.6k for.  Also, as far as I know, CK (SBRT) has far less reported side effects than IMRT.  So, this study does not mirror my experience w/CK (SBRT) and unless they can be more specific about the particular methods of SBRT used, I don't think the report has much value.

hopeful and opt...
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Joined: Apr 2009




VascodaGama's picture
Posts: 3407
Joined: Nov 2010

I would like to add to the “mixture” of this discussion the facts about the biochemical control achieved from CK and IMRT treatments, which may influence the existence of many of the side effects. Less treatment may relate to lesser risks for collateral damage but it may lead to worse outcomes.

Katz and Santoro are “big fish” in the CK world and respected by the many. They have published recently the results of 6-years CK treatment to which I have compared the PubMed’s study for IMRT. Both data are reliable and not must of a difference have been found out. Here are the links;


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