Combination of Short-Term ADT, Radiation Therapy Benefits Early-Stage Prostate Cancer Patients
Short-term hormone therapy (androgen deprivation therapy, or ADT) administered in combination with radiation therapy for men with early-stage prostate cancer increases their chance of living longer and not dying from the disease, compared with that of those who receive the same radiation therapy alone, according to a Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) study published in the July 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The largest randomized trial of its kind, the study enrolled nearly 2,000 men at low and intermediate risk of prostate cancer progression and followed their health status for more than nine years, from October 1994 to April 2001, at 212 centers in the U.S. and Canada. All study participants had early, localized, PSA-diagnosed tumors with PSA levels of <20. Further analysis of study data identified risk subgroups of low risk (Gleason score <6, PSA level <10 and clinical stage 10 to <20 or clinical stage T2b). Christopher Jones, MD, co-principal Investigator in the trial as well as lead author and a practitioner affiliated with Radiological Associates of Sacramento, Sacramento, Calif., says the study constitutes “strong scientific evidence that adding short-term ADT to radiation therapy benefits intermediate-risk, but not low-risk, patients with early-stage prostate cancer. These benefits were achieved with a mild increase in patient-reported erectile dysfunction at one year but no increase in observed long-term bowel or bladder toxicities." RTOG is a national clinical cooperative group funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) since 1968 to increase the survival and improve the quality of life of patients diagnosed with cancer. To read the press release with details of the study findings, click here: