Prostate Cancer Combination Therapy Decreases Death Risk

Antiandrogen therapy plus radiotherapy shows promise reducing prostate cancer mortality.

A recent longitudinal study found that antiandrogen therapy combined with local radiotherapy halves the risk of death from prostate cancer compared with antiandrogen monotherapy.

"Before the turn of the century, it was tradition to castrate men with high-risk or aggressive local prostate cancer with no signs of spreading, as the disease at that point was thought to be incurable," said study lead author Anders Widmark. "When we published the first results of this study in The Lancet in 2009, we contributed to changing the attitude towards radiotherapy for older patients with advanced prostate cancer. In this follow-up study, we present even more evident results that clearly show how patients who previously were considered incurable, to a large extent can be cured and that these patients should therefore be offered radiotherapy as an additional treatment."

In the study, published by European Urology, researchers found that after a follow-up of 15 years after diagnosis, patients who received a combination therapy of antiandrogen therapy and radiotherapy decreased the risk of prostate cancer death from 34% to 17%.

The original study included 875 patients treated for advanced or aggressive prostate cancer from 1999 to 2002, and continued to follow the patients. In 2009, researchers published the first results, which according to the study, changed their attitude toward treating older patients with prostate cancer.

"We are also in the process of evaluating how hormone therapy against prostate cancer affects the patients' quality of life. We will publish that study shortly," Widmark concluded.