Navigation Links
Taking Breaks From Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapy Seems Safe: Study
Date:9/5/2012

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Stop-and-start hormone-deprivation therapy for localized prostate cancer doesn't shorten overall survival compared to continuous treatments, and yields fewer side effects such as impotence and hot flashes, a large new study suggests.

A team of Canadian, British and American researchers found that intermittent hormone treatments -- which suppress circulating male hormones such as testosterone that "feed" prostate tumors -- don't increase the risk of disease progression. Intermittent treatment also doesn't increase the chances that patients whose prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels are slowly rising will eventually die from prostate cancer.

"There has been a lot of work [in this area] over the last two decades, so we figured there would be an improvement in quality of life and hoping there was no detriment to survival," said study author Dr. Juanita Crook, professor of radiation oncology at the University of British Columbia. "That was the one thing that was unknown, but our impression is that people are not dying sooner on intermittent therapy than continuous."

For the study, published Sept. 6 in the New England Journal of Medicine, nearly 1,400 patients whose localized prostate cancer was treated with surgery and/or radiation were split into two groups. One set received continuous hormone-deprivation therapy -- a mainstay treatment for prostate cancer that has spread -- while the rest were treated in eight-month cycles punctuated by months-long "breaks" depending on their PSA levels.

Slowly rising PSA levels may indicate the progression of prostate cancer, even if no evidence of the disease shows up on other tests such as MRI and CT scans. Study participants on stop-and-start hormone-deprivation treatments were placed back on therapy if their PSA scores grew to 10 or higher, or they experienced clinical symptoms of disease progression, Crook said.

After a follow-up of nearly seven years, only 14.2 percent of all participants had died from prostate cancer, with an overall survival of 8.8 years in the intermittent-therapy group and 9.1 years in the continuous-therapy set.

Side effects associated with hormone-deprivation therapy, such as erectile dysfunction, hot flashes, bone loss and depression, were less common among the intermittent treatment group, Crook said.

"There were many quality-of-life benefits to intermittent therapy, despite a similar overall survival," Crook said. "Even if they didn't regain erectile function ... they had less fatigue and improved urinary function, which were very important to them as well."

Those on intermittent therapy had one-third of the treatments of the continuous therapy group, she added. "So there's a very significant cost savings ... with improved quality of life and no overall loss of survival," she said. "It's a triple win."

Dr. Louis Potters, chairman of radiation medicine at North Shore-LIJ Health System in New Hyde Park, N.Y., said the study will help him structure conversations with some of his prostate cancer patients who face similar treatment choices.

"We need to now focus on [learning] the optimal timing of the initiation of this treatment," he said. "Because it's clear that patients aren't necessarily going to die in droves if they have a recurrence following primary treatment. The question is, When do they need to start this type of therapy?"

Crook noted that her study wasn't designed to answer that question, which could take many more years of research, but contended that the current evidence demonstrates that intermittent hormone therapy can become the standard of care for patients like those studied.

"Intermittent therapy can't be used just arbitrarily," she said. "[Clinicians] need to follow a template and a schedule, and this is the one we have experience with. People have to be very careful in their interpretation of the study and the application of results."

More information

The American Cancer Society offers more information about hormone therapy for prostate cancer.

SOURCES: Juanita Crook, M.D., professor, radiation oncology, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, B.C.; Louis Potters, M.D., chairman, radiation medicine, North Shore-LIJ Health System, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Sept. 6, 2012, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Not taking gastroprotective drugs prescribed with anti-inflammatory medicines
2. Seniors Stop Taking Heart Drugs In Medicare Donut Hole
3. Taking Away Car Keys Can Be Tough for Older Drivers
4. Taking Anti-HIV Meds Prior to Exposure May Help Prevent Infection
5. Patients taking certolizumab pegol are twice as likely to achievE ACR20 compared to placebo
6. Young Men Taking HIV Meds May Be at Risk for Bone Loss
7. Taking the fate of stem cells in hand: RUB researchers generate immature nerve cells
8. Taking tissue regeneration beyond the state-of-the-art
9. Taking nothing at face value
10. Off-label drug use common, but patients may not know theyre taking them, Mayo finds
11. More Kids Taking Antipsychotics for ADHD: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Taking Breaks From Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapy Seems Safe: Study
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... A Palm Beach doctor plans ... Train, an international charity that provides free surgery to poor children suffering from cleft ... the past I have run to support the efforts of the American Heart Association ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... ... The Portee Insurance Agency, a family managed firm that offers asset protection ... DC region, is inaugurating a charity event aimed at fighting heart disease in the ... #1 killer in America. However, heart disease is largely preventable, and a few minor ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... At Hallmark Nameplate, their commitment to quality is ... certification to ISO 13485. This certification is another way they are making constant strides ... services that they need. , The ISO 13485 Certification is a major accomplishment for ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... development solutions for drugs, biologics and consumer health products, today announced that Mr. ... at the upcoming WCBP Conference, to be held at the Mayflower Hotel, Washington ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... The Hear the World Foundation, ... the donation of cochlear implants. In February 2017, the first three children with ... chance of leading an independent life. This engagement builds on the support the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... 18, 2017   Seno Medical Instruments, Inc. , ... cancer through the development of an opto-acoustic (OA/US) imaging ... as SVP of Engineering. Mr. Miller previously served ... SonoSite, with headquarters in Bothell, Washington ... 30-year career to the development of innovative medical imaging ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... LAKE, N.J. , Jan. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... Co., Ltd., announced today that it is participating ... access to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) prevention, treatment and ... Access Accelerated is the first multi-stakeholder, international ... 22 major pharmaceutical companies, including Eisai, in collaboration ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , January 18, 2017 Ximbio, ... to share research resources, has opened its first North American ... ... marks an expansion for Ximbio following its launch in October ... Research Technology (CRT), the commercialization arm of the foundation Cancer ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: