Eric Shinohara, MD, MSCI, discusses the emergence of stereotactic body radiotherapy to treat patients with prostate cancer.
Eric Shinohara, MD, MSCI, associate professor and interim chair, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, discusses the emergence of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) to treat patients with prostate cancer.
As the technology required for SBRT has become more affordable, the technique has become more widespread, explains Shinohara. Additionally, having the proper clinical and physics expertise to deliver the treatment is expanding. SBRT is now more commonly offered and, according to Shinohara, more data are needed to support this as a safe and effective treatment.
Devices to protect normal tissues from radiation-related injury are also becoming more common. One such device is a hydrogel spacer, which is a compound that is injected between the prostate and the rectum to push the prostate away from the rectum, says Shinohara. By physically separating the rectum from the prostate, the radiation dose received by the rectum can be greatly reduced, decreasing or potentially eliminating serious adverse events from radiation therapy to the rectum. The widespread use of hydrogel spacers has helped protect normal tissues to a greater degree, concludes Shinohara.