Hormone therapy plus radiotherapy may increase prostate Ca survival

October 19, 2006

Patients with locally advanced prostate cancer who are treated with a combination of radiotherapy and hormone therapy gain as much as 12% longer progression-free survival compared with those given radiotherapy alone, Italian research suggests.

Patients with locally advanced prostate cancer who are treated with a combination of radiotherapy and hormone therapy gain as much as 12% longer progression-free survival compared with those given radiotherapy alone, Italian research suggests.

Researchers from the Regina Elena Cancer Institute in Rome accumulated the results of seven randomized clinical trials that included 4,373 patients. They looked specifically at progression-free survival, overall survival, and cancer-specific overall survival.

“The most intriguing result was the improvement in progression-free survival and overall survival-10.5% and 6.2%, respectively,” said study author Emilio Bria, MD, of the Regina Elena Cancer Institute in Rome. “Also, long-term hormone therapy seemed to have greater impact on progression-free survival than short-term treatment-12% and 9.3%, respectively.”

The combination treatment significantly decreased recurrence rates under both of the team’s statistical models (p<.0001). Similarly, overall survival was longer under both models. Dr. Bria said there may be several reasons for this benefit.

“The increased efficacy of radiotherapy in the presence of hormone therapy may be due to radiosensitization, to the reduction of local tumor burden, or perhaps to the killing of occult disseminated cells outside the  irradiated volume,” he said.