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CCTG PR24 trial opens to investigate Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy effectiveness in treating prostate cancer

Now open the CCTG PR24 ASCENDE-SBRT trial to determine whether stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) can replace the current standard radiation treatment (brachytherapy boost) for men with unfavourable risk prostate cancer. SBRT is a non-invasive, high precision, less costly radiation technique that results in similar outcomes and tolerability to brachytherapy boost.

“Using SBRT could mean fewer visits to the hospital, less travel, less parking, less disruption to employment and other aspects of life,” Dr. Loblaw radiation oncologist and scientist at Sunnybrook Cancer Centre said. “We suspect it could save the healthcare system more than $30 million a year, while increasing treatment capacity and reducing wait times.”

In 2020, 23,300 Canadian men were diagnosed with prostate cancer of which one third are estimated to have unfavourable risk, non-metastatic prostate cancer.

“There’s no doubt that standard radiation with an HDR Brachytherapy boost is the gold standard today. In Atlantic Canada where I reside, it’s only available in Halifax and was the treatment that I received two years ago,” says Erwin Wander, prostate cancer survivor and CCTG patient representative. “The SBRT option being studied may be as good but with shorter treatment times, far less cost and no requirement for a general anesthetic. I think that the PR24 study asks an important question that will benefit patients and their health care providers by allowing them to select the appropriate treatment option for their cancer.”

This new trial will consider the benefits to the patients and the healthcare system of using this course of treatment for patients with higher risk prostate cancer Brachytherapy is a form of targeted radiation that sees a tiny radioactive seed temporarily placed inside the prostate. The SBRT treatment being investigated involves a higher dose per day, delivered with pinpoint precision to target tumours and spare normal tissue from side effects of radiotherapy. 

If ASCENDE-SBRT shows that SBRT boost is non-inferior to brachytherapy boost for progression-free survival and is better tolerated, SBRT boost would likely become the preferred treatment choice in the future. 

This trial has received a $4.5 million grant from CIHR and will be conducted by CCTG at centres across Canada with program support from the Canadian Cancer Society. A total of 710 patients will be enrolled to the study.

For more information please visit the trial's PR24 patient information page.

Patient Representative Erwin Wanderer
Patient Representative Erwin Wander
Dr Andrew Loblaw CCTG PR24 Study Chair
Dr Andrew Loblaw CCTG PR24 Study Chair