Results of men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer who had received long-term hormonal therapy after radiation therapy were examined by a secondary analysis of the historic RTOG 9202 prostate cancer trial. It concluded that there were no additional benefits when compared to short-term hormonal therapy. The research was presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's (ASTRO's) 55th Annual Meeting.
Men with advanced prostate cancer typically receive hormonal therapy to reduce the level of androgens, or male hormones, in their bodies. Although hormone therapy alone will not cure prostate cancer, lowering androgen levels can reduce prostate tumors size or stall their growth.
The original RTOG 9202 trial (Hanks 2003) evaluated the potential benefits of long-term adjuvant androgen deprivation (LTAD) for two years after initial androgen deprivation, when compared to short-term (initial) androgen therapy (STAD) in mostly high-risk prostate cancer patients receiving external beam radiation therapy (EBRT). Because some intermediate-risk prostate cancer patients were included in the study, a current analysis was conducted to determine if patients in the intermediate-risk subset experienced an additional survival benefit with LTAD.
"Most clinicians have felt that 'more was better' when it came to blocking testosterone in prostate cancer patients, however, results for the specific endpoints we focused on, OS and DSS, indicate that this was clearly not the case," said Amin Mirhadi, MD, lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. "This data supports administering less treatment, which will result in fewer side effects and reduce patients' overall health care costs."