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New research shows that men with locally advanced or high-risk prostate cancer who received hormone therapy combined with radiation therapy lived longer and were less likely to die from prostate cancer. Locally advanced prostate cancer has spread to the area surrounding the prostate, and high-risk prostate cancer is more likely to grow and spread. Men with locally advanced or high-risk prostate cancer are usually treated with hormone therapy after initial treatment with radiation therapy or surgery. Hormone therapy, also called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), for prostate cancer involves stopping the body from producing hormones called androgens. Androgens can help prostate cancer cells grow, so lowering the levels in the body can make prostate cancers shrink or grow more slowly, but it does not cure prostate cancer.
After seven years, almost three-fourths of the men in the study who received hormone therapy plus radiation therapy were alive, compared with two-thirds of the men who received hormone therapy alone. In addition, the men who received hormone therapy alone were more than twice as likely as the men who received hormone therapy plus radiation therapy to die from prostate cancer.
What this means for patients
“We found that men who received hormone therapy and radiation therapy lived longer and were less likely to die from prostate cancer than those who had only hormone therapy,” said researcher Padraig Warde, MBChB, Deputy Head of the Radiation Medicine Program at the University of Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital. “These results suggest that adding radiation therapy to the treatment plan for these patients could become part of the standard therapy and should be considered.”
What to Ask Your Doctor
- What stage of prostate cancer do I have? What does this mean?
- What are my treatment options?
- What clinical trials are open to me?
- What treatment do you recommend? Why?
- Do you recommend radiation therapy? What are the side effects?
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