According to a recent study, treatment outcomes using brachytherapy remained unaffected in patients with a family history of prostate cancer.
Reproted in the International Journal of Radiation OncologyBiology Physics, the study has also shown that patients with this type of family history have clinical and pathologic characteristics similar to men with no family history at all.
"This information is relevant for both physicians and patients with new diagnoses as they embark on complex treatment decisions," Dr. Christopher A. Peters, a radiation oncologist at Northeast Radiation Oncology Center in Dunmore, Pa., who was chief resident at Mount Sinai School of Medicine at the time of the study, said.
"Now patients with a family history of prostate cancer can be confident that they have the same outcomes as patients with sporadic disease, regardless of the treatment modality they chose," added the lead author of the study.
In the study, the researchers sought to determine if having a familial history of prostate cancer, which is defined as a clustering of prostate cancer cases within a family, had an impact on the prognosis of men treated with brachytherapy for clinically localized prostate cancer patients.
The team followed 1,738 prostate cancer patients, of which 187 had a family history of prostate cancer in a first-degree relative, for a median follow-up time of 60 months.
The researchers observed that in the low-, intermediate- and high-risk groups, a family history of prostate cancer had little to no prognostic significance in men treated with brachytherapy.
They pointed out that previous studies done with prostate cancer patients receiving external beam radiation therapy or radical prostatectomy also had similar findings.