Radiation may Help after Prostate Cancer Setback
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18 June 2008
NewÃ‚Â York, USA
Men whose prostate cancer recurs after they have undergone surgical removal of the prostate may benefit from early radiation therapy, according to study findings reported in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association.
“Our study provides the first evidence that salvage radiotherapy can improve survival,” Dr. Bruce T. Trock commented to Reuters Health.
Trock, at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed the outcomes of 635 men who underwent radical prostate surgery between 1982 and 2004 and subsequently relapsed.
While 397 men were not given any salvage treatment, 160 received radiotherapy, and 78 received hormone therapy plus radiation therapy. The mortality rates from prostate cancer in those three groups at 6 years after the recurrence of cancer were 22 percent, 11 percent, and 12 percent.
The survival advantage was confined to patients treated within 2 years of relapse and those whose PSA level was rising rapidly.
Men whose PSA was rising more slowly “Had a better prognosis already – their survival at 10 years was 75 percent without any salvage treatment – so adding salvage radiation didn’t improve their survival much,” Trock explained.
Summing up, he said, “Our results suggest that salvage radiation may be appropriate for those men with rapidly growing tumors who previously may not have been considered for such therapy.”