Short-term hormone therapy given in combination with radiation therapy for men with early-stage prostate cancer increases their chance of living longer and not dying from the disease, compared with patients who receive the same radiation therapy alone.
Large clinical trial shows short-term hormone therapy plus radiation increases survival for men with early-stage prostate cancer
Short-term hormone therapy (androgen deprivation therapy: ADT) given in combination with radiation therapy for men with early-stage prostate cancer increases their chance of living longer and not dying from the disease, compared with that of those who receive the same radiation therapy alone, according to a Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) study published in today’s New England Journal of Medicine. This largest randomized trial of its kind enrolled nearly 2,000 men at low and intermediate risk of prostate cancer progression and followed their health status for more than nine years (October 1994 to April 2001) at 212 centers in the United States and Canada.
As trial co-principal investigator and RTOG Genitourinary Cancer Committee Co-Chair William Shipley, M.D. (Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston) explains, “Vigilant, long-term follow up of the enrolled patients was required due to the indolent nature of prostate cancer. With the introduction of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, early detection of the disease has significantly increased; therefore, understanding the best treatment options for men with early-stage cancer is critically important.” It is estimated that 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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