Use, Complications, and Costs of Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy for Localized Prostate Cancer

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) for localized prostate cancer has potential advantages over traditional radiotherapies. Herein, the authors compared national trends in use, complications, and costs of SBRT with those of traditional radiotherapies.

METHODS:

The authors identified men who underwent SBRT, intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), brachytherapy, and proton beam therapy as primary treatment of prostate cancer between 2004 and 2011 from Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER)-Medicare linked data. Temporal trend of therapy use was assessed using the Cochran-Armitage test. Two-year outcomes were compared using the chi-square test. Median treatment costs were compared using the Kruskal-Wallis test.

RESULTS:

A total of 542 men received SBRT, 9647 received brachytherapy, 23,408 received IMRT, and 800 men were treated with proton beam therapy. There was a significant increase in the use of SBRT and proton beam therapy (P<.001), whereas brachytherapy use decreased (P<.001). A higher percentage of patients treated with SBRT and brachytherapy had low-grade cancer (Gleason score ≤ 6 vs ≥ 7) compared with individuals treated with IMRT and proton beam therapy (54.0% and 64.2% vs 35.2% and 49.6%, respectively; P<.001). SBRT compared with brachytherapy and IMRT was associated with equivalent gastrointestinal toxicity but more erectile dysfunction at 2-year follow-up (P<.001). SBRT was associated with more urinary incontinence compared with IMRT and proton beam therapy but less compared with brachytherapy (P<.001, respectively). The median cost of SBRT was $27,145 compared with $17,183 for brachytherapy, $37,090 for IMRT, and $54,706 for proton beam therapy (P<.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

The use of SBRT and proton beam therapy for localized prostate cancer has increased over time. Despite men of lower disease stage undergoing SBRT, SBRT was found to be associated with greater toxicity but lower health care costs compared with IMRT and proton beam therapy.

The use of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) and proton beam therapy for the treatment of patients with localized prostate cancer in the United States has increased over time. Despite men of lower stage undergoing SBRT, SBRT appears to be associated with greater toxicity but lower health care costs compared with other radiotherapies.

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