Proton radiotherapy for prostate cancer (PCa) costs much more than intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), but the two therapies have similar toxicities at 12 months post-treatment, data show.

James B. Yu, MD, of Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and collaborators studied 27,647 Medicare recipients who received radiotherapy for PCa. Of these, 27,094 received IMRT and 553 received proton radiotherapy. The median Medicare reimbursement was $18,575 for IMRT compared with $32,424 for proton radiotherapy, according to an online report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Proton radiotherapy was associated with a significant 40% decreased odds of genitourinary toxicity at six months compared with IMRT, but the two groups had similar rates of genitourinary toxicity at 12 months. The investigators found no significant difference in gastrointestinal or other toxicity at six or 12 months post-treatment.

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