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Short-Term Hormone Therapy Added to Radiation Increases Survival for Medium-Risk, But Not Low-Risk, Prostate Cancer Patients
Date:11/2/2009

CHICAGO, Nov. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Short-term hormone therapy given prior to and during radiation treatment to medium-risk prostate cancer patients increases their chance of living longer, compared to those who receive radiation alone, however there is no significant benefit for low-risk patients, according to the largest randomized study of its kind presented at the plenary session November 2, 2009, at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

This phase III study is one of the largest clinical trials of prostate cancer therapy ever completed, with 2,000 low- and intermediate-risk patients enrolled in the trial from October 1994 to April 2001. Researchers from the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) followed men with early-stage prostate cancer for a period in most cases of more than nine years. This timeframe was sufficient to show improved survival benefits of short-term hormone therapy added to what was then the standard radiation treatment for prostate cancer, which involved slightly lower doses of radiation than are currently used today with newer techniques, such as intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).

"The study provides strong scientific evidence that shows us when to deliver hormone therapy with radiation in patients with localized prostate cancer," Christopher U. Jones, M.D., an author of the study and a radiation oncologist at Radiological Associates of Sacramento in Sacramento, Calif., said. "Our findings show that men with low-risk disease, which is the vast majority of prostate cancer patients, have little to gain from adding hormone therapy to radiation. However, men with intermediate-risk disease, which is a significant minority of patients, gain a benefit in overall survival from the addition of only four months of hormone therapy. Prior to this trial, it was unclear whether or not combining hormone therapy with radiation for medium-risk prostate cancer patien
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SOURCE American Society for Radiation Oncology
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