Although type 2 diabetes is not connected with more aggressive prostate cancer,it does predict poor long-term survival from the disease. A Fox Chase CancerCenter study included 1512 men with localized prostate cancer. As part of theirtreatment, the participants received 3D conformal radiation therapy between April1989 and October 2001. Of the participants, 206 had type 2 diabetes that wastreated with diet, exercise, or medication other than insulin.
Reporting the findings at the recent annual meeting of the American Society forTherapeutic Radiation and Oncology, the researchers saw no difference in initialprostate-specific antigen (PSA) scores or cancer stage between patients with thedisease and nondiabetics. PSA scores 5 years after radiation showed a treatmentfailure rate of 27.2% in patients without diabetes, compared with 23.8% in patientswith the disease. The distant spread of cancer was diagnosed in 7% of the controls,compared with 4.9% of the patients with diabetes.
Despite similar treatment outcomes between the 2 groups, the survival rate was significantlydifferent. The patients without type 2 diabetes had an overall death rate of19.1%, compared with 22.8% in patients with the disease. The difference was statisticallysignificant even after other pretreatment risk factors had been taken into account.