Combination of Hormone Therapy and Radiation Therapy Improves Progression-free Survival in Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer

According to results recently presented at the 2006 annual meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), the addition of hormone therapy to radiation therapy improves progression-free survival among patients with locally advanced prostate cancer.

Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer among males in the United States. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that is located between the bladder and the rectum. It is responsible for forming a part of semen.

Locally advanced prostate cancer refers to cancer that has spread from the prostate to nearby sites, but not to distant sites in the body. Standard treatment for locally advanced prostate cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, and/or hormone therapy.

Hormone therapy is a type of therapy that is used to reduce or prevent the formation of male hormones, particularly testosterone, which stimulates prostate cancer cells to grow. Researchers continue to compare different treatment strategies among patients with locally advanced prostate cancer in order to provide optimal treatment for patients with this stage of disease.

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Researchers recently conducted a meta-analysis of 4,373 patients who had participated in seven clinical trials that directly compared radiation therapy to radiation therapy plus hormone therapy for the treatment of locally advanced prostate cancer.

  • Progression-free survival was improved by 10.5% among patients treated with hormone therapy plus radiation therapy, compared to those treated with radiation therapy only.
  • Overall survival was improved by 6.2% among patients treated with hormone therapy plus radiation therapy.
  • The risk of death specifically from cancer was reduced by over 4% among patients treated with the combination of hormone therapy plus radiation therapy.

The researchers concluded that the addition of hormone therapy to radiation therapy improves progression-free survival and overall survival compared to radiation therapy alone among patients with locally advanced prostate cancer. Patients with locally advanced prostate cancer should discuss their individual risks and benefits of all treatment options with their physician.

Reference: Carlini P, et al. Does Hormonal Adjuvant Treatment Added To Radiotherapy Improve Outcome Versus Exclusive Radiotherapy In Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer? A Pooled Analysis Of 4373 Patients Enrolled In 7 Phase Iii Trials. Presented at the 2006 ESMO meeting. Abstract #20.

Related News:Initial Hormone Therapy plus Radiation Improves Survival with Prostate Cancer Spread to Lymph Nodes (8/25/2006)

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