(Washington, DC) When James Hansen of Spotsylvania, Virginia was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the summer of 2009 he wanted to know all of his options before proceeding with his treatment. As it turns out, Mr. Hansen found out that his prostate cancer was localized to his prostate, making him “low risk.” He was presented with three options; surgery, standard radiation or CyberKnife alone. He chose CyberKnife and has become the 200th patient to receive CyberKnife radiation for prostate cancer at Georgetown University Hospital.
“My father had prostate cancer surgery several years ago and I saw what he went through,” said Mr. Hansen. “It was a tough, tough recovery, especially back then. I didn’t want that. I’m a horse farmer with two teenaged daughters. I don’t have time for that or a long course of radiation treatments if I can help it.”
“Traditional radiation treatments would have taken 40 sessions or about eight weeks for him to complete,” said Sean Collins, MD, PhD, radiation oncologist and director of the CyberKnife Prostate Cancer Program at Georgetown. “In his case, his cancer is localized to the prostate, so he is able to complete his radiation treatments in five days over the period of one to two weeks. From what we’ve seen in our 200 patients in the past five years is that patients have tolerated the treatments well and their PSA scores drop quickly after CyberKnife. Most PSA levels drop to less than 1 in about a year. The toxicity is similar to standard radiation but is delivered over a shorter time frame. Patients are working full time, keeping active and are generally happy with the treatments.”
PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen. The PSA test measures the amount of PSA in a man’s blood. PSA is released into the blood by the prostate gland.
Thomas Bennett of Maryland was the first patient to receive CyberKnife at Georgetown and had a slightly different story. His cancer was more advanced but he still qualified for CyberKnife treatment.
“From my biopsy I had a Gleason score of 9, which I knew was really bad. So, I had traditional IMRT radiation with a boost of CyberKnife radiation directly to my prostate cancer,” said Mr. Bennett. “That was in March of 2005 and my PSA got down to less than 1 and has stayed low. I know my urologist is absolutely delighted at how this turned out for me. What’s more, I’ve never had any pain. I’m obviously very happy.”
“Nationally, close to 5,000 men have been treated for their prostate cancer with CyberKnife and so far the data are favorable for effectiveness and safety. I foresee CyberKnife as an additional option for millions of men with prostate cancer,” Dr. Collins said.
The American Cancer Society estimates 192,280 new cases of prostate cancer in 2009 and 27, 360 deaths from the disease. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, second only to lung cancer.
Media Contact: Marianne Worley
Patient Contact: 202-342-2400