Proton Therapy

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 12/24/2009 8:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Received a call from a man yesterday who did proton therapy. He highly recommened this type of therapyover the others. He had this done at Loma Linda. The only difference between him and I, is he had this done while he still had his prostate.  My question is can this therapy be done on those who's next step is radiation after surgical removal of the prostate. This procedure seems less evasive than the others according to my research. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 12/24/2009 8:46 AM (GMT -6)   
If you are speaking of salvage therapy the answer is yes it can be done after surgery.  I looked into it but my insurance was beginning to give me a hard time because of the cost.  It's more expensive than radiation in general.  It's a great treatment.  Good luck
 54 y.o.
 Diagnosed 4/10/08
 DRE Normal
 Biopsy- 12 cores, 4 positive highest 4+4=8
 Bone scan, CT scan and Chest X-ray clear 4/16/08
 Urologist suggested surgery 4/16/08
 MRI on 4/24/08 clear no suggestion of lymph node   involvement.
 4/24/08 -Started on Lupron and Casodex preparing for HDRT and IMRT in late July.  This treatment will not preclude me from surgery if I change my mind.
Decide to have DaVinci surgery after another consult with surgeon.
6/19/08- DaVinci surgery at University of Washington.
6/25/08- Path report, clear margins, no noted extension
9/12/08- PSA <0.02 
12/05/08-PSA <0.02 Six months after surgery 
3/02/09-PSA <0.02 Nine months after surgery
5/02/09-PSA .10
8/17/09-PSA .21 Begin HT and set up for SRT to begin in 2 months.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 4274
   Posted 12/24/2009 9:46 AM (GMT -6)   

Dear Orickster:

Yes, proton therapy can be used as a salvage treatment.  Shown below is a link that includes testimonials from three men who have gone that route.

Personally, I considered PBT as a primary treatment for my PCa but ultimately rejected it because most of the "evidence" was anecdotal, i.e. I could not find long term studies that proved its' efficacy.

If you want to seriously consider this option, I suggest you call one of the PBT centers and speak with one of their physicians about your case.




Age 62, Gleason 4 +3 = 7, T1C, PSA 4.2, 2 of 16 cores cancerous, 27cc
Brachytherapy December 9, 2008.  73 Iodine-125 seeds.  Procedure went great, catheter out before I went home, only minor discomfort.  Regular activities resumed, everything continues to function normally as of 12/09.  6 month PSA 1.4 and now 1 year PSA at 1.0.  My docs are "delighted"!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 314
   Posted 12/24/2009 10:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Agreed, it can be used for salvage therapy.

I looked into it in depth for primary therapy. MDA here in Houston has a big center, and they are pushing it hard.

The theory looks very promising, but reliable studies about its efficacy simply do not exist yet. Beware of "true believers" pushing this mode of treatment. Not saying they're wrong, but anecdotal evidence and skewed statistics are not ultimately persuasive - not yet anyway.

No family history of PC.  PSA reading in 2000 was around 3.0 .  Annual PSA readings gradually rose; no one said anything to me until my PSA reached 4.0 in September 2007, at which point my internist advised me to see a urologist.   
Urologist advised a repeat PSA reading in six months = 4.0 .  Diagnosed May 2008 at age 56 as a result of 12 core biopsy.  Biopsy report by Bostwick Laboratories = Gleason 3 + 3. 
Interviewed two urologists - the one who did the biopsy and another - the latter had the biopsy slides re-examined = Gleason 3 + 3. 
Then went to M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston in July 2008 and met with a urologist and a radiologist.  Biopsy slides re-examined yet again, this time by MDA's internal pathology department = Gleason 3 + 4.   
Chose da Vinci surgery over proton beam therapy; surgery performed at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center on August 15, 2008.  Post-operative pathology report = four tumors, carcinoma contained in prostate, clean (negative) margins, lymph nodes clear, seminal vesicles clear.  Gleason = 4 + 3. 
Minor temporary incontinence; current extent of ED uncertain due to lack of sexual partner; refused treatments for ED as being pointless under the circumstances. 
PSA readings: 
November 2008 = <0.1 ["undetectable"]
June 2009 = <0.1   
December 2009 = <0.1

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 12/24/2009 10:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Orickster, The Dattoli Cancer Center has an interesting paper comparing Proton to IMRT. The article discusses the two as primary treatments, but the pros and cons would be similar for SRT. Try this link: Of course keep in mind that Datolli is biased in favor of IMRT. An interesting article none the less. It is just very difficult knowing what to do with prostate cancer isn't it? Good luck to you.

Diagnosed 2/2008 at age 71, PSA 9.1, Gleason 8 (5+3)and stage T1c.  CT and bone scan neg.
Robotic surgery 5/2008, nerves spared, bladder neck spared with pelvic floor reconstruction.
All margins, SV and lymph nodes were neg. 
Staged pT2c, Gleason sum 8 (5+3).
Continent at 6 weeks. 
PSA <0.1 at 18 months, Nov. 2009.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 384
   Posted 12/24/2009 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
My dad is a 10 year survivor following Proton as first line of treatment. It can be used as salvage as all ready mentioned. I looked at it for myself but opted for Davinci after some talks with my dad about male concerns and finding out my insurance wouldn't cover it.

Age 55 / age at diagnosis 54, PSA 5.1
Robotic surgery 08/12/09 at Vanderbilt, Nashville TN. 
Final Path report:
20% of the prostate Invovled
Tumor graded at T2C
Overall Gleason 3+4 (7)
Lymph Glands Clear, Positive Margin Noted in Right Apex
First post Surgery PSA - 0

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 12/24/2009 11:52 AM (GMT -6)   
My father had proton treatment at Loma Linda 35 years after his prostate was removed. It kept him going another 10 years after with no ill effects. He told me that apparently there was a small piece of the prostate left after the initial surgery that developed PCa on its own that many years later.
Diagnosed at 54
PSA 8.7 Biopsy 1/7/09
4 of 6 cores positive, one at 90%
Gleason 3+4=7 Neg bone scan 1/15/09
One shot Lupron Depot 1/27/09 Tax Season
RP 4/29/09
Neg lymph nodes, postive seminal vesicle, 1 positive margin
Gleason 3+4=7 with tertiary 5
Catheter out at 2 weeks no nighttime incontinence Pad free week 5
PSA 6/6/09 <0.1 PSA 9/10/09 <0.1

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