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Dual therapy improves cancer prognosis


Experts have called for prostate radiotherapy to be routinely combined with endocrine treatment in patients with locally advanced or high risk prostate cancer after it was found to halve mortality rates.

A phase III randomised trial split almost 900 patients into two groups, one given endocrine treatment alone, the other endocrine treatment combined with radiotherapy.

After an average follow-up of 7.6 years, 79 men in the endocrine-only group had died of prostate cancer compared with 37 in the endocrine/radiotherapy group.

Professor Anders Widmark, of Umea University in Sweden, and colleagues wrote in The Lancet: “The present study indicates a significant superiority of the endocrine plus radiotherapy treatment compared with endocrine treatment alone in patients with locally advanced prostate cancer.

“The endocrine plus radiotherapy resulted in a substantial reduction of prostate cancer mortality.

“The quality of life and adverse effect profile [of radiotherapy] is acceptable. We therefore suggest that endocrine treatment plus radiotherapy should be the new standard of care for these patients.”

In an accompanying comment to the article, Dr Chris Parker and Dr Alex Tan, from the Institute of Cancer Research in Surrey, said: “The results should change current practice, making long-term hormonal therapy plus radical radiotherapy the standard of care for men with locally advanced prostate cancer.”

Copyright Press Association 2008

The Lancet

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