In a nutshell
This study examined if brachytherapy, a type of radiotherapy, is more effective with or without hormonal therapy for patients with localized prostate cancer. The authors found that patients survived longer without cancer worsening after treatment with brachytherapy and hormonal therapy.
Brachytherapy (BT) is a type of radiotherapy where radioactive substances are placed around tumors to kill them. It is effective for patients with localized prostate cancer (PC). Often, prostate cancer cells use hormones to encourage their growth. Hormonal therapy counteracts this process. It has been shown that hormonal therapy improves the results of different types of radiotherapy. However, it is unclear if hormonal therapy improves the effectiveness of BT treatment for patients with localized PC.
Methods & findings
Results of 16 studies involving 9359 patients with localized PC were analyzed. 4175 patients received BT and hormonal therapy and 5184 received BT treatment alone.
Hormonal therapy increased patients’ chances of surviving 5 years without cancer worsening by 4%. This was more significant for studies carried out in North America than in Europe. Hormonal therapy increased patients’ chances of surviving 10 years without cancer worsening by 12%.
Overall, hormonal therapy did not significantly improve patients’ chances of surviving 5 years. Patients who received BT and hormonal therapy had a 2% higher chance of surviving 5 years than those that received BT alone.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that hormonal therapy compliments BT by improving patients’ chances of surviving without cancer worsening.
The fine print
There were significant differences in how trials were set up and analyzed. This could mean that there is bias in the results. Some data, such as side effects, was not available for all trials and could not be analyzed.
Published By :
Frontiers in oncology
Mar 07, 2020
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