Dattoli Non-Surgical Treatment (DART)
While we create a unique treatment plan for each patient, there is a general protocol that we follow and adapt to each man’s needs. For patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer (and not a recurrence following some other treatment), the protocol is in three parts. The first is several weeks of daily treatment called DART (Dynamic Adaptive RadioTherapy). These treatments are short – from check-in to check-out it is rarely more than 20 minutes. The treatment itself is similar to an X-ray and patients do not feel anything. In fact, they often enjoy playing golf, tennis, fishing or walking the beach before or after their daily treatment.
At the conclusion of the daily DART treatments, a plan for brachytherapy (seed implant) is made. The seed implant procedure is done on an outpatient basis, but requires an over-night stay for observation. A waiting period of 2 to 8 weeks is required between the daily radiation treatment and the seeding appointment.
Approximately 90 days following the seeding we will begin the 3rd part – follow-up DART radiation to the lymph nodes in the pelvis and abdomen. There are may be 3-10 of these daily treatments prescribed to complete the treatment plan.
This protocol has been perfected by doctors Dattoli and Sorace over a 20 year period, and hasimage2 produced the longest and best published cure rate in all the medical literature. With our current combination protocol, patients having low risk disease enjoy a greater than 95% disease-free status, thanks to our advanced DART technology. We are now seeing even those patients having intermediate to high-risk disease achieving an approximate 90% cure rate with remarkably few, temporary side effects. Having treated patients with lymph node cancer and even bone metastases successfully, we are moving up the ladder in terms of the stage of the disease that can be conquered.
Our results have improved each year with refinements in technique and technology. As of 2010, our published data on patients with higher risk disease reported an 82% biochemical success rate with a follow up of 16 years. It is important to note that those patients were treated between 1992 and 1997 with combination of Palladium-103 brachytherapy and 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy, which during that decade was the most sophisticated form of external radiation therapy available. We have come a long way since that time with our current state of the art DART capabilities and constantly improving results.
The data that we published for higher risk patients is especially important because the vast majority of those patients treated in our 16-year series were considered incurable using any other treatment method, especially radical prostatectomy. To date, no other practitioners in the world have reported results as successful as ours with higher risk patients. As mentioned, the biochemical cure rate for low risk patients in our practice is typically greater than 95%, which is comparable or superior to the results achieved by the other leading brachytherapy teams. When treating intermediate and high risk disease, we simply have no peers.
Yet as impressive as the published results are, they do not reflect the effectiveness of our current technologies and skills. We believe our cure rates to be much higher, given the much higher doses that can be delivered with DART and the far greater accuracy, which now enables us to most effectively eradicate the cancer while minimizing side effects — and we accomplish that one patient at a time.
If you ask “graduated” Dattoli Cancer Center patients to identify one thing about their care here that made the biggest difference, you are likely to hear many different answers. This is because extraordinary attention is paid to the whole experience. Yes, we offer the most complete collection of diagnostic tools available anywhere under one roof, but we also provide a unique array of special touches and amenities – such as “mini offices” furnished with internet-ready computers, phones and faxes for patient or family use during their visits, negotiated discount accommodations and car rentals, weekly educational programs, monthly prostate cancer healthy cooking classes, and an award-winning, comprehensive patient handbook.
Our patients will tell you that their therapy was virtually painless, including the seed implant procedure.
They will tell you about the good friends they made from all over the world while sharing this experience. And they tell their friends at home about their incredible experience at a special place. In fact, our greatest source of new patients comes from satisfied men referring others to this Center. We will be happy to provide you with a list of patients who will gladly share their experience with you. Complete our contact form and ask for a reference in your area. Or even better, give us your age, PSA and Gleason score and we’ll find a graduate who had disease similar to yours. Our voluntary “Encouragers List” contains many names from many places around the world.
From the moment you enter our doors you will recognize that this is not a typical medical practice. A warm and welcoming atmosphere has been designed to put you and your family members at ease. With its refined high-back leather chairs, private Internet suites, refreshment bar and relaxing tropical courtyard, the Dattoli Cancer Center makes you feel more like you’re in an upscale health club or a luxury hotel than a cancer treatment facility. And just as important as our world-class facilities, is our world-class professional staff, compassionately dedicated to the highest level of care and your recovery. We strive to relieve your anxieties and reduce your stress as we include and involve you in the conquest of your cancer. Our goal is to cure you so that you can return to your life – whole, happy and cancer free.
Our building is laid out in three sections. The first floor houses most of the diagnostic technologies and exam rooms in the West wing; the East wing is the home of the linear accelerator rooms (vaults, specially constructed to safely contain radiation) where daily radiation treatments are given. Our dosimetry planning suite, in-house clinical laboratory and administrative functions are located on the second floor, as well as a 2,000 square foot Education Center, complete with library and multi-media equipment, where patients and family members attend the Dattoli Cancer Foundation sponsored Beamers’ Meetings. Named for the daily “beam” radiation, these weekly in-house meetings are open to all patients and family members before, during and after their treatment. The popular programs include speakers addressing various aspects of the treatment and advice for healthy living after prostate cancer.