RAS Physician Lead Author on New Prostate Cancer Research
Findings released in New England Journal of Medicine
For Immediate Release (Sacramento, Calif., July 14, 2011) – Radiological Associates of Sacramento (RAS) announced today that Christopher Jones, M.D., Radiation Oncologist, was principal investigator and lead author on significant prostate cancer research published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. RAS Past President, Mark Leibenhaut, M.D., was a co-author on the study.
According to the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), this was the largest randomized trial of its kind with nearly 2,000 men at low and intermediate-risk of prostate cancer progression enrolled at 212 centers in the United States and Canada including RAS’ Radiation Oncology Centers. The study followed the health status of trial participants for more than nine years (October 1994 to April 2001) and looked at short-term hormone therapy (androgen deprivation therapy: ADT) given in combination with radiation therapy for men with early-stage prostate cancer. The treatment regime “increased enrollees’ chance of living longer and not dying from the disease, compared with that of those who received the same radiation therapy alone.”
“These findings have tremendous significance for improving both clinical care and the utilization of health care resources.” says trial co-principal investigator and lead author Christopher U. Jones, M.D. (Radiological Associates of Sacramento, Sacramento, Calif.). “We now have strong scientific evidence that adding short-term ADT to radiation therapy benefits intermediate-risk, but not low-risk, patients with early-stage prostate cancer. These benefits were achieved with a mild increase in patient-reported erectile dysfunction at one year but no increase in observed long-term bowel or bladder toxicities."
In a press release issued by RTOG, investigators state “vigilant long-term follow up of the enrolled patients was required due to the indolent nature of prostate cancer. With the introduction of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, early detection of the disease has significantly increased; therefore, understanding the best treatment options for men with early-stage cancer is critically important.” It is estimated that about 240,890 Americans will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011 and almost 9 out of 10 will have early-stage disease.
“RAS Radiation Oncology Division (ROC) has a long history of clinical research and is recognized nationally and internationally for its high quality care and innovation,” said Kathy Dunlap, Chief Operations Officer, ROC Division. “It is quite an accomplishment to have written and published an article in the world's premier medical journal; moreover, a study of this magnitude has far-reaching implication for prostate cancer patients. Our employees and physicians are very proud of Dr. Jones and Dr. Leibenhaut.”
Dunlap added that Dr. Jones was also co-author of a NEJM article in 2006 which reported that adding Cetuximab to Radiotherapy improved the survival of patients with locally-advanced head and neck cancer, changing the practice of medicine in this area.
The authors note that the higher radiation dose and new treatment technology being employed today with demonstrated higher treatment efficacy could potentially provide the same or greater benefit as the addition of short-term ADT.
This study was supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute.
The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) is administered by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and located in the ACR Center for Clinical Research in Philadelphia, PA. RTOG is a multi-institutional international clinical cooperative group funded primarily by National Cancer Institute grants CA21661, CA32115 and CA37422. RTOG has 40 years of experience in conducting clinical trials and is comprised of over 300 major research institutions in the United States, Canada and internationally. The group currently is currently accruing to 40 studies that involve radiation therapy alone or in conjunction with surgery and/or chemotherapeutic drugs or which investigate quality of life issues and their effects on the cancer patient. The American College of Radiology (ACR) is a national professional organization serving more than 32,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of radiology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.
About Radiological Associates of Sacramento
Radiological Associates of Sacramento (RAS) Medical Group, Inc., (www.radiological.com) is a premier provider of specialty healthcare services in Northern California. Established in 1917, its core services include diagnostic radiology, interventional and neurointerventional radiology, radiation oncology, nuclear medicine, gynecologic oncology, urology, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery, and hematology/medical oncology. RAS provides quality care to patients through multiple outpatient clinics.
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Christopher U. Jones, MD; Radiological Associates of Sacramento
Daniel Hunt, PhD; RTOG Statistical Center
David G. McGowan, MB, ChB; Cross Cancer Institute, Department of Radiation Oncology (emeritus)
Mahul B. Amin, MD; Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Michael P. Chetner, MD; University of Alberta, Division of Urology, Department of Surgery
Deborah B. Bruner, RN, PhD; University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing
Mark H. Leibenhaut, MD; Radiological Associates of Sacramento
Siraj M. Husain, MD; Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Department of Radiation Oncology
Marvin Rotman, MD; SUNY Health Science Center Brooklyn, Department of Radiation Oncology
Luis Souhami, MD; McGill University, Department of Radiation Oncology
Howard M. Sandler, MD; Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Department of Radiation Oncology
William U. Shipley, MD; Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Radiation Oncology
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Publication Date: July 14, 2011