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Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer Linked to Heart Risks
Date:10/9/2007

ect involving more than 13,000 men, during which all had indicated whether they had any preexisting medical complications in addition to cancer.

Of the 4,900 patients, nearly 3,300 had undergone prostate removal surgery following diagnosis.

The remainder underwent nonsurgical treatments, such as external beam radiation therapy; brachytherapy (involving the insertion of small radioactive pellets directly into the prostate); and/or cryotherapy (involving the freezing of tumor cells).

In addition, 266 of those patients who underwent surgery and 749 of those receiving an alternate treatment also received androgen-deprivation therapy.

The patients were tracked for an average of about four years following the start of all treatments; the patients receiving ADT did so for an average of about four months.

Tsai and his colleagues found that patients over the age of 65 who had undergone both prostate removal surgery and ADT had a 5.5 percent increased risk of dying from a cardiac event within five years of starting the hormone treatment. This compared to a 2 percent greater risk among patients older than 65 who had surgery alone.

The "relative risk" jump was similar among younger patients. Those under 65 who had surgery and hormone therapy had a 3.6 percent greater risk of death from heart disease within five years, compared with a 1.2 percent risk among those undergoing surgery alone.

ADT was not associated with any increased cardiac risk among patients undergoing any of the nonsurgical treatments.

An editorial accompanying the study calls for more research into the topic.

Jerome Seidenfeld and his colleagues at the University of Connecticut Health Center suggest that while Tsai's analysis of previously collected data raises an "interesting hypothesis," no definitive link to cancer risk can be proved until a clinical trial of prostate cancer patients currently undergoing hormone treatme
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