News | November 02, 2009

Hormone Therapy Added to Radiation Increases Survival in Prostate Cancer Patients

November 2, 2009 — 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 Nov. 2, 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," said Christopher U. Jones, M.D., an author of the study and a radiation oncologist at Radiological Associates of Sacramento in Sacramento, Calif.

"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," Jones said. "Prior to this trial, it was unclear whether or not combining hormone therapy with radiation for medium-risk prostate cancer patients improves survival."

Androgen deprivation therapy is hormone therapy used to treat prostate cancer by stopping or lowering the level of male hormones, or androgens, thereby removing the strongest growth factor for prostate cancer cells.

In the study, a total of 1,979 eligible men who had cancer confined to the prostate and a PSA less than or equal to 20 were randomized to receive total androgen deprivation therapy two months prior to and two months during radiation treatment, or radiation alone.

Findings show that short-term hormone therapy given to early-stage prostate cancer patients prior to and during radiation treatment significantly increases their chance of living longer (51 percent), compared to those who receive radiation alone (46 percent). Nearly all of the survival benefit was in the intermediate-risk group. Secondary endpoints of disease-free survival, freedom from biochemical failure, and positive two year re-biopsy rates were also better in the group who received short-term hormone therapy and radiation treatment.

The study was supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute.

For more information: www.rtanswers.org

Related Content

Patients whose cancer has not spread far past the lungs may benefit from targeting tumor sites with radiation or surgery after initial treatment, according to ASTRO study
News | ASTRO | October 21, 2018
Adding radiation therapy or surgery to systemic therapy for stage IV lung cancer patients whose cancer has spread to
DCIS, ductal carcinoma in situ, radiation therapy, survival benefit, Brigham and Women's Hospital study

Image courtesy of Barco

News | ASTRO | October 21, 2018
A subset of patients with low-risk breast cancer is highly unlikely to see cancer return following breast conservatio
The Aquilion Precision CT system from Canon offers very high resolution imaging, which may aid in cancer detection and improved treatment planning in radiation oncology. #ASTRO2018 #ASTRO #ASTRO18

The Aquilion Precision CT system from Canon offers very high resolution imaging, which may aid in cancer detection and improved treatment planning in radiation oncology. 

News | Computed Tomography (CT) | October 19, 2018
October 19, 2018 – At the 2018 American Society of...
IBA's Proteus system and proton therapy solutions will be discussed at ASTRO 2018. #ASTRO18 #ASTRO #ASTRO2018
News | Proton Therapy | October 19, 2018
October 19, 2018 – IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) is sharing how hospitals can secure performance, investment and t
myQA Daily is optimized for daily QA workflow efficiency.
News | Quality Assurance (QA) | October 18, 2018
myQA Daily from IBA Dosimetry enables fast as well as high-quality daily...
IBA Dosimetry Enters Interoperability Agreement With Varian for Dolphin Monitoring
News | Radiation Therapy | October 17, 2018
IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) announced it has entered into an agreement with Varian with the goal of validating the...
Boston Scientific Closes Acquisition of Augmenix Inc.
News | Prostate Cancer | October 17, 2018
Boston Scientific Corp. announced the close of its acquisition of Augmenix Inc., developer of the SpaceOAR Hydrogel...
Varian Expands Cancer Care Portfolio With Noona Healthcare Acquisition
News | Patient Engagement | October 15, 2018
Varian announced the acquisition of privately-held software company Noona Healthcare, developer of a cloud-based,...
New Guideline for Prostate Cancer Supports Shortened Radiation Therapy
News | Prostate Cancer | October 12, 2018
Three prominent medical societies issued a new clinical guideline for physicians treating men with early-stage prostate...