Adding Radiation Therapy To Hormone Therapy Benefits Men with Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer

For men with locally advanced or high-risk prostate cancer, treatment with a combination of radiation therapy and hormone therapy appears to be more effective than hormone therapy alone. These results were published in The Lancet.

Locally advanced prostate cancer refers to cancer that has spread through the prostate capsule but not to distant sites in the body. Treatment of locally advanced prostate cancer often includes androgen deprivation therapy (hormone therapy). Hormone therapy blocks male hormones from stimulating the growth of prostate cancer.

To determine whether the addition of radiation therapy to hormone therapy results in better outcomes than hormone therapy alone, researchers conducted a study among 1,205 men with locally advanced or high-risk prostate cancer. Half the men received hormone therapy alone and half received hormone therapy and radiation therapy.

  • Overall survival at seven years was 74% among men treated with radiation therapy and hormone therapy, compared with 66% among men treated with hormone therapy alone.
  • The addition of radiation therapy did not substantially increase side effects of treatment.

These results suggest that for men with locally advanced prostate cancer, treatment with a combination of hormone therapy and radiation therapy results in better overall survival than treatment with hormone therapy alone.

Reference: Warde P, Manson M, Ding K et al. Combined androgen deprivation therapy and radiation therapy for locally advanced prostate cancer: a randomised, phase 3 trial. Lancet. Early online publication November 3, 2011.

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