Project Details


Objective/Rationale of the Proposed Study:

The goal of radiotherapy is to eradicate or control the growth of a cancer, while minimizing the complications that may result from the treatment. Although substantial technological improvements have enabled a more precise irradiation of the tumor, some normal tissue is inevitably exposed to radiation. For men diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early stage, when the disease is localized mainly to the prostate and has not spread, treatment with either radiation or surgery is generally successful. In fact, the relative 10-year survival rate following diagnosis with prostate cancer (which adjusts for the expected mortality from other causes of death) approaches 100%. Therefore, it is critical to consider the complications that may result from treatment and steps that might be undertaken to prevent urinary problems, damage to the rectum, and sexual dysfunction, or exclude patients at the highest risk for their development. A tool that could be used to predict which men are at increased risk for developing these complications following radiotherapy would allow more personalized cancer treatment. This would significantly reduce the incidence of such effects and improve quality of life for prostate cancer survivors.

Ultimate Applicability of the Research:

What types of patients will it help, and how will it help them?

It is anticipated that men diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early stage, which represents the majority of prostate cancer patients, will benefit most from the results of the proposed project in that it will enable them to help decide whether radiotherapy, surgery, or active surveillance represents the best course of action.

What are the potential clinical applications, benefits and risks?

The main clinical application will be the creation of an assay capable of predicting which men are most likely to suffer complications resulting from prostate cancer radiotherapy. Additionally, for men who are predicted using this instrument to be unlikely to develop adverse effects resulting from treatment with radiation, it may be possible to use a somewhat higher dose of radiation for their treatment and therefore increase the probability for cure of their prostate cancer.

What is the projected time it may take to achieve a patient-related outcome?

It is the goal of this project to create a clinically useful instrument to assign risk for development of toxicities following prostate cancer radiotherapy. Thus, a patient-related outcome will be achieved by the time this project is complete.

What are the likely contributions of this study to advancing the field of prostate cancer research?

Beyond the ability to personalize and optimize prostate cancer treatment so that it enhances the health and quality of life for men diagnosed with this disease, it is anticipated that through identification of the genes possessing variants associated with a susceptibility for the development of toxicities following prostate cancer radiotherapy, this information will significantly advance an understanding of the molecular pathways involved with the development of urinary morbidity, rectal damage, and erectile dysfunction by radiation. This will facilitate research into the development of agents to prevent or mitigate these forms of radiation injury.

Effective start/end date1/01/14 → …


  • Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs: $513,615.00


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