Prostate Cancer News: Robotic Surgery Better Than Seed Radiation

   May 20, 2014   

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – May 20, 2014)

New research brings encouraging news for men who are diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. In a comparison of targeted prostate cancer treatments, robotic surgery was associated with a 72 percent reduction in disease-related death. In contrast, brachytherapy, also known as seed radiation, was associated with a mortality reduction of only 54 percent. The results provide positive insight into the success of definitive local therapy for late-stage diagnosis; in particular, robotic prostate removal.

A diagnosis of metastatic or advanced prostate cancer indicates that cancerous cells have spread beyond the prostate gland, and is considered more complex to treat. Prostate surgery expert David B. Samadi, MD, Chairman of Urology and Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital performs a minimally invasive procedure, called the Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique (SMART), which delivers highly successful results in prostate cancer cure and quality of life after treatment.

“Of course, early diagnosis is ideal,” said Dr. Samadi. “But robotic surgery continues to prove successful for a wide range of prostate cancer stages. Continued advancements, like my SMART Surgery, provide the majority of men with very definitive, successful prostate cancer treatment.”

Targeted prostate cancer treatment

Samadi photo SMART Surgery is a custom technique for robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP). During RALP, the surgeon uses tiny robotic instruments and enhanced visualization and dexterity to remove the cancerous prostate. The minimally invasive procedure usually requires just a one-night hospital stay. Within a few months, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level of zero or near zero indicates prostate cancer cure for most patients.
Brachytherapy involves the implantation of radioactive seeds into the prostate via a catheter. As the body gradually absorbs high-dose radiation from the implant, the prostate tumor shrinks. Patients typically undergo a series of treatments and are then monitored via PSA testing to assess tumor status. PSA fluctuation after radiation is common, which can make it difficult to ascertain exact disease status.

“Robotic surgery and brachytherapy are both very targeted; however, there are two important distinctions,” said Dr. Samadi. “First, only robotic surgery removes the cancerous prostate gland from the body and allows me to assess the disease’s status firsthand. Second, the impact of radiation on the prostate gland often makes surgery impossible should the cancer return after seed treatment.”

The study results were based on data from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program and were published online May 3, 2014, ahead of print in Cancer Epidemiology, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24802851

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