Arab American doctor, partner first to administer new prostate cancer treatment
By Jessica Barrow | Saturday, 01.08.2011, 08:35 AM

Doctors in the Radiation Oncology Department at William Beaumont Hospital were the first to treat prostate cancer using a single dose of radiation in a treatment called High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy.

Dr. Nasser Al-Dhaibani administers treatment.
Dr. Nasser Al-Dhaibani and Dr. Alvero Martinez treated 59 year old Brain Stark on November 29, delivering a treatment that would have normally taken weeks in a single day.

"The new single-day experimental treatment aims to make prostate cancer treatment more convenient and cost effective, while maintaining a high cure rate and minimum side effects," said Al-Dhaibani.

The radiation is administered through temporary catheters that are put directly inside the prostate gland in the operation room. Then a single small radioactive source travels through these catheters for approximately 15 minutes to cover the whole prostate with enough radiation to kill the cancer.  The total procedure takes about two to three hours.

The patient then remains in the hospital for observation for a few hours, and returns home with no side effects.

"This is the first time high dose internal radiation is delivered in a single treatment, given in a single day. Such a new treatment is very unique and outstanding when you compare it to the other treatment options," said Dr. Al-Dhaibani.

Patients who were diagnosed with prostate cancer have had the option of two to four treatments of HDR Brachytherapy, each delivered two weeks apart: eight weeks of external radiation, low dose internal radiation where small radioactive seeds remain in the prostate forever, or surgical removal of the whole prostate.

"Currently this new treatment is offered in our department as a research protocol for low to intermediate risk prostate cancer," said Al-Dhaibani.

Candidates for the treatmentwould have a Gleason score 6 or 7, a prostate-specific antigen less than 15, and small tumors that haven't metastasized and without lymph node involvement.

For more information on the study, call 248.551.7058 for Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak or 248.964.3070 for Beaumont Hospital, Troy.

By Jessica Barrow

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