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IMAGE: Dr. Neil Desai says the POTEN-C trial is the culmination of a decade of research on ways to improve radiation therapy for prostate cancer. view more 

Credit: UT Southwestern

DALLAS – June 12, 2018 – “Will treatment make me impotent?” It’s a question on the minds of many men as they are making decisions about prostate cancer treatment. A multicenter clinical trial being led by UT Southwestern physicians is testing a technique for sparing nerve bundles and arteries involved in sexual function to preserve potency in patients getting radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

“Nowadays, mortality after treatment for localized prostate cancer is as low as 1 percent at 10 years,” said Dr. Neil Desai, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, a Dedman Family Scholar in Clinical Care, and Principal Investigator of the POTEN-C trial. “By contrast, as many as half of all patients being treated for prostate cancer will experience some decline in sexual function. It is appropriate, therefore, that our focus has shifted to this aspect of quality of life.”

The new technique being tested involves reducing the dose of radiation on one side of the prostate, where imaging shows no cancer, in order to spare nerves and

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