(HealthDay News) — Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) offers no significant benefit over conformal radiotherapy (CRT) following prostatectomy for prostate cancer, according to a study published online May 20 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Gregg H. Goldin, M.D., from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues utilized data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare-linked database to identify patients diagnosed with prostate cancer who had received radiotherapy between 2002 and 2007, within three years after prostatectomy. Outcomes of 457 patients who received IMRT and 557 who received CRT were compared using claims data through 2009.

The researchers found that use of IMRT increased from 0 to 82.1 percent from 2000 to 2009. There were no significant differences in the rates of long-term gastrointestinal morbidity, urinary nonincontinent morbidity, urinary incontinence, or erectile dysfunction for men who received IMRT versus CRT. Additionally, subsequent treatment for recurrent disease was not significantly different between the groups.

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“Given that IMRT is more expensive, its use for postprostatectomy radiotherapy may not be cost-effective compared with CRT, although formal analysis is needed,” the authors write.

One author disclosed receiving salary support from unrestricted research grants from pharmaceutical companies.

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