Double Treatment for Prostate Cancer Saves Lives

Men with prostate cancer received promising news this week.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed data from more than 30,000 men receiving treatment for aggressive prostate cancer. Those who received both hormone suppression therapy and radiation therapy halved their chances of dying of prostate cancer over the next seven years.

men aged 65 to 75 reduced their risk by 57 percent, while those over 75 experienced a 49 percent lower risk of death compared with men who received the hormone deprivation therapy.

previous research had shown that the combination of radiotherapy and hormone has benefits for younger. This is the first comprehensive analysis showing that older men also benefit.

[ Journal of Clinical Oncology , January 5, 2015],

This is exciting because it has so far been difficult to compare effectiveness of different treatments for prostate cancer. Since this can often be a slow-growing cancer, there has also been a degree of fatalism about prostate cancer in older men. However, these were the aggressive cancers, and the study clearly demonstrates that the use of both radiation and suppression of testosterone can give older men a better chance of surviving prostate cancer.

A accompanying editorial says aloud age discrimination in the treatment of high-risk prostate cancer.

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