Moreover, fewer men in the combined treatment group saw a return of their cancer (26 percent) than did men in the hormone-only group (75 percent).
The addition of local treatment with radiotherapy improves survival, Widmark concluded. "These patients are highly curable -- only 10 percent will die of prostate cancer within 10 years," he said. "They should not give up."
Dr. Chris Parker, from the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, Surrey, UK, and author of an accompanying editorial in the journal, said that combined radiation and hormone therapy should become standard treatment for men with locally advanced prostate cancer.
"This is a pivotal trial that for the first time demonstrates that radiotherapy improves survival of men with high-risk localized and locally advanced prostate cancer," Parker said. "It is no longer acceptable to regard hormone therapy alone as standard of care."
D'Amico agreed, noting that most U.S. doctors already provide combo therapy as standard treatment for men with locally advanced prostate cancer.
"Combined treatment with radiation and hormonal therapy is necessary to get the best overall survival in men with locally advanced prostate cancer," he said. "The study nails that home."
For more information on prostate cancer, visit the American Cancer Society .
SOURCES: Anders Widmark, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology, Umeå University, Sweden; Chris Parker, M.D., Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, Surrey, UK; Anthony D'Amico, M.D., Ph.D., chief, radiation oncology, Brigham and Women's H
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