External beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer

CA Cancer J Clin. Nov-Dec 2000;50(6):349-75; quiz 376-9. doi: 10.3322/canjclin.50.6.349.


Men with non-metastatic prostate cancer have many treatment options. For over 35 years, radiation therapy has been a mainstay of treatment for this disease. With improvements in technology and better use of pretreatment prognostic factors, such as prostate specific antigen level and Gleason score, biochemical and clinical results have steadily improved. This article reviews the current status of radiation therapy in the treatment of prostate cancer. Results of treatment utilizing three-dimensional conformal and conventional techniques are compared and contrasted. The appropriate use of adjuvant hormones and particle beam therapy in the management of this disease is also discussed. Finally, the toxicity and future directions of radiation therapy in the treatment of prostate cancer are addressed.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy, Conformal
  • Survival Rate


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal