American Society for Radiation Oncology

View all recommendations from this society

Released September 23, 2013

Don’t routinely recommend proton beam therapy for prostate cancer outside of a prospective clinical trial or registry.

There is no clear evidence that proton beam therapy for prostate cancer offers any clinical advantage over other forms of definitive radiation therapy. Clinical trials are necessary to establish a possible advantage of this expensive therapy.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

1–5: Following approval of the participation of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in the Choosing Wisely campaign, a survey was sent to ASTRO committees and panels related to health policy, government relations, and clinical affairs and quality in order to identify potential items for inclusion in the list. A work group, comprised of seven physicians drawn from these three areas, was also selected and convened. The work group members were asked to pick their top eight items from the total of 34 topics that had been suggested in the initial survey. The results were tabulated and a list of the highest scoring items generated, creating a short list of 13 draft items.

Three conference calls were subsequently held to further refine the list and finalize the wording of the items based on input from ASTRO’s Board of Directors. A literature review was conducted for each topic by ASTRO staff and each work group member took the lead on writing text and selecting references for one or more draft items. The final items for submission were selected by ASTRO’s Board of Directors. ASTRO’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at: www.astro.org.

6–10: In January 2014, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) formed a group to develop its second Choosing Wisely list, which included representatives from health policy, government relations, and clinical affairs and quality. The work group began by narrowing a list of 28 draft concepts to nine potential Choosing Wisely items. Next, an electronic anonymous survey was sent to the ASTRO membership to rate the value and relevancy of each of the items. The survey also included an open text box for members to comment on the suggested items and to provide additional ideas for Choosing Wisely items. Based on the survey results, the work group submitted a short list of eight items to the ASTRO Board of Directors, from which the Board chose five items to move forward.

Literature reviews were conducted for the five Choosing Wisely items selected by the Board and the group drafted verbiage, bullet points and references for each item. Following a second review by the Board of Directors, one of the items was replaced with an alternate item from the short list. The final list received approval from the Board and was then submitted to the ABIM Foundation. ASTRO’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at: www.astro.org.

Sources

Mohler JL, Armstrong AJ, Bahnson RR, Boston B, Busby JE, D’Amico A, Eastham JA, Enke CA, George D, Horwitz EM, Huben RP, Kantoff P, Kawachi M, Kuettel M, Lange PH, Macvicar G, Plimack ER, Pow-Sang JM, Roach M 3rd, Rohren E, Roth BJ, Shrieve DC, Smith MR, Srinivas S, Twardowski P, Walsh PC. NCCN clinical practice guidelines in oncology: prostate cancer. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2010 Feb;8(2):162–200.

Sheets NC, Goldin GH, Meyer AM, Wu Y, Chang Y, Stürmer T, Holmes JA, Reeve BB, Godley PA, Carpenter WR, Chen RC. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy, proton therapy, or conformal radiation therapy and morbidity and disease control in localized prostate cancer. JAMA. 2012 Apr 18;307(15):1611–20.

Yu JB, Soulos PR, Herrin J, Cramer LD, Potosky AL, Roberts KB, Gross CP. Proton versus intensity-modulated radiotherapy for prostate cancer: patterns of care and early toxicity. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013 Jan 2;105(1):25–32.

Coen JJ, Zietman AL, Rossi CJ, Grocela JA, Efstathiou JA, Yan Y, Shipley WU. Comparison of high-dose proton radiotherapy and brachytherapy in localized prostate cancer: a case-matched analysis. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Jan 1;82(1): e25–31.