New Study Recommends Continuous Prostate Cancer Therapy to Improve Survival Rates of Patients

June 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer News

A new study conducted by researchers from the Cancer Therapy & Research Center, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, have revealed that men who go for intermittent treatment of their prostate cancer die early from the disease than those who embrace continuous therapy.

Specifically, the study was conducted on men with less advanced metastatic prostate cancer. It was discovered that some of the men who were prescribed with hormone therapy intermittently died an average of two years than those who embraced radical or continuous hormone treatments. Details are provided below:

New study results have just upended a decades-old prostate cancer therapy approach.

The international study announced in June involving the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio shows that men with less advanced metastatic prostate cancer who were prescribed intermittent hormone therapy died an average of two years sooner than those on continuous therapy.

“I now treat patients very differently,” said Dr. Ian M. Thompson Jr., director of the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at the UT Health Science Center and senior author of the long-term study that he said “will change clinical care forever.”

Hormone treatments fight prostate cancer by turning off testosterone production in men’s bodies. But the side effects of those treatments include mood changes, bone loss, sexual dysfunction, hot flashes and weight gain.

For those reasons, many men with less advanced metastatic cancer and their doctors have been happy to “pulse” the treatment — use it until the cancer stops growing, halt the treatment for a while, and then restart it when the cancer begins to grow again.

But when all the results came in, that group of men fared significantly worse than expected.

“The very patients you’d logically offer intermittent therapy did not do as well,” Thompson said.

Men with more advanced metastatic disease had similar survival rates on both types of treatment.

The study led by SWOG, an international network of research institutions, included more than 1,500 men with hormone-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer who were randomly assigned to receive intermittent hormonal therapy or continuous hormonal therapy. Patients in the intermittent therapy group received about half as much hormonal therapy as those in the continuous therapy group.

Among men with more extensive disease spread, overall survival was similar in both arms (4.4 years for the continuous therapy group versus five years for the intermittent group).

“In comparison to many current ‘breakthrough’ treatments for prostate cancer that improve survival by two to three months, this is an incredible discovery,” Thompson said. Source.

So, based on the above study, it becomes important to pursue a continuous treatment approach when treating cancer of the prostate. The survival rate for those diagnosed with this disease can be influenced by the type of treatment prescribed.

The above study has proven that continuous hormone therapy can extend lives more than intermittent treatments. The researchers for this study were drawn from renowned international institutions and it is only logical that the report is widely acceptable.

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