From Doctors Lounge
Radiation plus hormone therapy increases survival in prostate cancer.
By American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology
Oct 4, 2008 - 12:07:20 AM
Boston – For men with locally advanced prostate cancer the addition
of radiation treatment to anti-androgen hormone therapy reduces the
risk of dying of prostate cancer by 50 percent compared to those who
have anti-androgen hormone treatment alone, according to a randomized
study presented September 22, 2008, at the American Society for
Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 50th Annual Meeting in Boston.
randomized trial is the first to show that men with locally advanced
prostate cancer will survive substantially longer when radiation is
added to their treatment plan," Anders Widmark, M.D., lead author of
the study and a professor in radiation oncology at Umea University in
Umea, Sweden, said. "I would encourage men with locally advanced
prostate cancer to talk to their doctor to see if they would be a good
candidate for radiation therapy in addition to hormone treatment."
advanced prostate cancer is cancer that has grown close to the border
or outside the prostate gland and into neighboring tissue, but has not
spread into the lymph nodes or to other organs. In this study,
anti-androgen hormone therapy is used to treat prostate cancer by
blocking the stimulating effect of testosterone on the prostate cancer
cells, to shrink the prostate cancer and slow down the growth of
prostate cancer. External beam radiation therapy (also called
radiotherapy) involves a series of daily treatments to acurately
deliver radiation to the prostate.
The study involved 880
patients with locally advanced prostate cancer who were randomly
assigned to receive three months of intense hormone therapy (temporary
castration) called total elimination of androgens in the body (total
androgen blockade) followed by continuous anti-androgen therapy,
allowing the testosterone to come back or the same hormonal treatment
combined with radiation therapy between February 1996 to December 2002.
show that 18 percent of patients who underwent hormone therapy alone
died of prostate cancer, compared to nine percent of those who had both
hormone and radiation treatment. The quality of life at four years
after treatment was similar between the two groups, with the exception
of decreased social function in the patients who had the combined
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