Hormone Therapy With Radiotherapy Improves Survival in Prostate Cancer

by Dr. Nithin Jayan on  April 4, 2011 at 5:18 PM Health Watch   - G J E 4
Hormone therapy doubles the chances of survival in prostate cancer, suggests new study. Research reveals that a combination of radiotherapy and hormone therapy can halve the risk of death in men with prostate cancer. The particular hormone therapy is called Neo-adjuvant Androgen Deprivation Therapy (NADT).

NADT lowers the levels of male hormones that can boost the growth of tumours. The concept essentially involves the use of agents that can block androgen, the male sex hormone. Safe and reversible form of androgen deprivation is made possible by the use of drugs such as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analogues and antiandrogens (AAs). NADT significantly reduces mortality after radiotherapy for high-risk prostate cancer.

The new findings come out of a research by a team from Australia and New Zealand. The study involved 802 men with locally advanced prostate cancer. '6 months of neoadjuvant androgen deprivation combined radiotherapy is an effective treatment option for locally advanced prostate cancer', writes the authors. The results were published in The Lancet, a leading medical journal.

The duration of NADT had been a controversy for a while and now clinicians may reach a consensus. Prolonged use of drugs caused side-effects including impotence, high cholesterol and heart attack. The new study proves that NADT for six months - before and after radiotherapy - avoids these potential side-effects. A three month long treatment was found to have no effect in their death rates or cancer spread.

The results are strong enough to revolutionise current clinical practise. As little as 6 months of NADT and a relatively low dose of radiation can aid in efficient treatment of a large proportion of men with locally advanced prostate cancer with few late side-effects.

Reference: The Lancet

Source: Medindia

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