The Role of Radiosurgery in Stage 4 Prostate Cancer -
Targeting Tumours beyond the Prostate
Prostate Cancer most often spreads via the bloodstream to the bones or in a step by step manner along lymph nodes in the pelvis and then the abdomen. Traditionally, drug therapy only (hormone treatment and sometimes chemotherapy) has been used to control prostate cancer and prolong life.
It is increasingly recognized that men with Stage 4 prostate cancer that has spread to just a few areas (5 or less) may have a better chance entering into, and maintaining remission for significantly longer periods of time, through combined drug and local (surgery or radiosurgery) therapy. Local therapy refers to directed treatment to visible tumours on scans which may not be completely eliminated by drug therapy alone. Effective local therapy of all visible tumours can allow deferral of chemotherapy and in some cases even allow deferral of drug therapy altogether.
Radiosurgery presents a painless, non-invasive option to achieve elimination of prostate cancer tumours, both in the prostate and sites of spread like bones and the lymph nodes. The treatments are targeted, and completed in 1-5 outpatient sessions, with a high percentage of success.
This illustrates the radiosurgery plan to eliminate prostate cancer in the backbone. Note the precision of the radiation dose (sky blue) covering the backbone (red), while curving round to avoid the spinal cord (yellow)