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Posted by on Jun 7, 2015 in Prostate cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

The authors aimed to determine whether hormone therapy had an effect on biochemical failure and cancer spread in prostate cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. 

Some background

Intermediate-risk prostate cancer is cancer that requires active treatment due to growth through and/or out of the prostate. It can be treated with hormone therapy (a treatment that involves targeting the male sex hormones active in prostate cancer, such as testosterone) or radiation therapy (involves directing a beam of radiation at the tumor site in order to kill cancer cells with minimal damage to healthy cells). Despite treatment, some patients experience a biochemical failure (a rise in prostate-specific antigen [a protein present in prostate cancer] levels).

Methods & findings

The aim of this study was to determine the effect of hormone therapy on biochemical failure and tumor spread in patients receiving radiation.

1,218 patients were used in this study with a follow-up time of 6 years. All patients were treated with radiation.

34.6% of patients were treated with hormone therapy. From this, 17.3% of patients experienced biochemical failure. Five-year biochemical failure rates were 9.7% and 10-year failure rates were 16.1%. 3.1% of patients experienced cancer spread to different parts of the body.

64.4% of patients received hormone therapy for less than 6 months and 35.6% received hormone therapy for longer than 6 months. Patients who did not receive hormone therapy had lower Gleason scores (scoring system comparing the differences between cancerous and normal cells), earlier years of diagnosis and had more biochemical failures and cancer spread.

Patients with high Gleason scores and high PSA levels and patients who did not receive hormone therapy had an increased risk of cancer spread. Patients who received hormone therapy had a 41% reduced risk of experiencing biochemical recurrence and had a 89% reduced risk of experiencing cancer spread compared to patients who did not receive hormone therapy.

The bottom line

The authors concluded that hormone therapy reduced the risk of biochemical failure and distant metastasis in patients with intermediate-risk prostate cancer. 

The fine print

This was a non-randomized trial so results presented may be biased and cannot be widely applied. 

What’s next?

If you are considering hormone therapy as a treatment option, please consult your doctor for potential risks and benefits. 

Published By :

BMC cancer

Date :

Mar 27, 2015

Original Title :

The role of androgen deprivation therapy on biochemical failure and distant metastasis in intermediate-risk prostate cancer: effects of radiation dose escalation.

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