Monday, July 14, 2014

Study shows no survival benefit for hormone therapy

Top shows the prostate and 
nearby organs. Bottom shows 
prostate surrounding the 
urethra. (courtesy NCI)
CANCER DIGEST – July 14, 2014 – A common treatment for prostate cancer makes little difference in the 15-year survival of men diagnosed with early stage disease. The study is not the first to question the use of the treatment, called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), or hormone blockade, in men with cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate, but it is one of the largest to date.

Led by Grace Lu-Yao, PhD, MPH cancer epidemiologist at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the Rutgers University researchers analyzed information from 66,717 Medicare patients aged 66 and older diagnosed with stage T1 or T2 prostate cancer. They found that when ADT was administered as the primary treatment for cancer confined to the prostate in the first six months after diagnosis, there was no difference in overall survival or in prostate cancer survival. 

Lu-Yao noted in a press release that ADT is appropriate for advanced stage disease and for high-risk patients. “Because of the potential side effects of osteoporosis, diabetes and decreased muscle tone, clinicians must carefully consider the rationale behind ADT treatment if used as the primary therapy for older patients,” she said. The study was published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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