Your Treatment Options
Number of Radiation Treatments for Prostate Cancer
Modern advances in radiation technology have continued to improve outcomes for prostate cancer patients. Because there are several types of radiation treatment for prostate cancer, many radiation oncologists opt for different radiation treatment schedules, depending on the patient’s needs and the type of radiation being used.
Understanding how different radiation schedules impact the number of radiation treatments needed for prostate cancer treatment can help you and your doctor determine which plan is right for you.
Schedules for Different Radiation Types
- External Beam Radiation (EBRT) Schedule:
In external beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer, patients typically undergo daily treatments over several weeks. The number of radiation treatments range from 5 to 40 sessions, depending on the radiation dose schedule. Examples of EBRT include SBRT, IMRT, and IGRT.
- Brachytherapy – Low Dose Rate (LDR) Schedule:
During LDR brachytherapy, radioactive seeds are implanted into the prostate gland, typically over 3 to 6 months, as the continuous emission of low-dose radiation effectively treats the cancer.
- Brachytherapy – High Dose Rate (HDR) Schedule:
During HDR brachytherapy, highly radioactive sources are temporarily placed directly into the prostate, typically over 2 to 4 sessions over 1 to 2 days.
Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy Schedule:
Hypofractionated radiation therapy delivers a higher dose of radiation in fewer sessions, ranging from 1 to 5 weeks, compared to conventional radiation which ranges from 6 to 8 weeks. This shorter schedule is safe and effective, and many patients prefer it because it’s more convenient and cost-effective.1
These different radiation treatment schedules depend on the type of radiation being used and specific needs of each patient. It’s important to discuss radiation treatment options with your doctor to determine what’s right for you.
- Niazi TM, Nabid A, Malagon T et al. Conventional vs. Hypofractionated Radiotherapy for High-Risk Prostate Cancer: 7-Year Outcomes of the Randomized, Non-Inferiority, Phase 3 PCS5 Trial. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2022: e1-e612.