After listening to Leonard Farber, MD, carefully outline the treatment
options, the 59-year-old patient didn’t hesitate: he wanted his
mid-stage prostate cancer gone quickly and with as little disruption as
possible to his busy life.
Instead of surgery or traditional radiotherapy—typically requiring
45 sessions over two months—the patient chose a leading-edge, high-dose
radiation therapy called stereotactic body radiation therapy or SBRT.
Requiring just five sessions over one week, the short-course, non-invasive
treatment for prostate cancer is available at only a handful of medical
centers in Southern California—and is one of the radiotherapy techniques
in which Dr. Farber brings extensive experience.
“SBRT is emerging as an exciting treatment option that represents
the next evolution in radiotherapy,” explains Dr. Farber, a board-certified
radiation oncologist who left Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in
New York to join the St. Jude Jordan Family Radiation Oncology Center.
“Advances in technology are creating improvements in accuracy, allowing
us to take advantage of the tumor’s biology and its responsiveness
to more concentrated doses of radiation.”
For men facing prostate cancer treatment, SBRT is now bringing the same
advantages it has to other cancers: the convenience of five treatment
sessions, each taking only minutes, all as an outpatient—no hospital
stays, general anesthesia or wearing a catheter. Most importantly, studies
show SBRT therapy offers the same five-year cancer control rates seen
with conventional treatment options.
SBRT uses state-of-the-art image guidance and RapidArc technology to deliver
higher radiotherapy doses with unprecedented accuracy. This translates
into better cure rates and fewer side effects. The precision of image
guidance allows the radiation to be shaped to fit and surround the prostate
gland, sparing much of the surrounding tissues and organs from unnecessary exposure.
“While more long-term data is needed, it is very possible that SBRT
could offer higher cure rates, especially for moderate and high-risk cancers,”
explains Dr. Farber.
Dr. Farber, who also offers expertise in SBRT for brain, spine, lung, and
breast cancers, as well as high-dose brachytherapy for skin, breast and
gynecological tumors, says SBRT is often so well-tolerated by patients
it doesn’t disrupt daily activities. “I’ve had professional
athletes go straight from therapy to training sessions,” he explains.
“We never stop working toward achieving the best outcomes with the
fewest side effects.”
To make an appointment or to learn more about SBRT, please call St. Jude
Jordan Family Radiation Oncology Center at