Tag Archive | "early state prostate cancer"

Prostate Cancer Survival Rate Improves with Short Term Hormone Therapy Coupled with Radiation Therapy


A new study published by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) in the New England Journal of Medicine and supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute found that short-term hormone therapy (androgen deprivation therapy –ADT) given in combination with radiation therapy for me in early-state prostate cancer increases their chance of surviving longer and not dying from the cancer.  This was the largest randomized trial of its kind, enrolling almost 2,000 men at low and intermediate risk of prostate cancer progression and following their health status from October 1994 to April 2001 at 212 centers throughout the United States and Canada.

Male hormones (androgens) including testosterone increase the growth of prostate cancer cells.  Therapy that decreases the body’s levels of androgens (particularly four months of ADT starting two months prior to radiation therapy in this study) removes the strongest growth factor for prostate cancer cells.  Authors of the study report that adding short-term ADT to radiation therapy significantly improved the overall survival rate at 10 years from 57 to 62 percent.  Additionally, in a trial of different treatments on each of the patients’ two arms, the radiation therapy coupled with short-term ADT arm was associated with four percent fewer prostate cancer-related mortalities compared with the radiation therapy-alone arm.  More importantly, the reduction in disease-specific deaths was accounted for by the intermediate-risk study participants in the radiation therapy plus ADT arm (10 percent as opposed to three percent in radiation only arm at 10 years) while no reduction in deaths was seen among low-risk participants at 10 years.  These benefits were achieved with a mild increase in patient-reported erectile dysfunction at one year but no increase in observed long-term bowel or bladder toxicities.

About 240, 890 Americans will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011 and almost 9 out of 10 will have early-stage disease.

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