Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Radiation therapy prolongs life in men with recurrent prostate cancer

19.06.2008
Men whose tumors recur after prostate cancer surgery are three times more likely to survive their disease long term if they undergo radiotherapy within two years of the recurrence. Surprisingly, survival benefits were best in men whose new tumors were growing fastest, according to results of a "look-back" study of 635 men by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions researchers reported June 18 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Previous studies of radiation therapy for recurrent prostate cancer found that it reduced disease progression, but this study demonstrates that it significantly prolongs survival, as well, according to Bruce J. Trock, Ph.D., associate professor of urology, epidemiology, oncology, and environmental health studies, and director of the Division of Epidemiology in the Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins.

"What this new study tells us is that even men with aggressive disease that has recurred after surgery appear to benefit from radiation therapy. It also means that we may be able to give radiation selectively to those who are really likely to benefit from it," advises Trock.

"I found the results of this study remarkable," says Patrick C. Walsh, M.D., University Distinguished Service Professor of Urology at the Brady Urological Institute. "Previously, we believed that these men -who have aggressive disease defined by a rapid doubling of PSA in six months or less -- had distant metastases and would not benefit from any form of local salvage therapy."

PSA, or prostate specific antigen, is the blood-based protein shed by the organ that signals the likely presence of cancer. Rapid rises in PSA levels after surgical removal of the prostate signal the recurrence of cancer and often convey a poor prognosis.

Approximately 30 to 40 percent of men with high-risk tumors experience no recurrence of their cancers after surgery and can be spared the side-effects, that is, urinary and bowel problems, that may come with radiation. So, the Johns Hopkins researchers were looking to determine whether radiation could improve survival in men with recurrent prostate cancer and the optimal timing for the therapy.

In the new study, the researchers reviewed records of 635 men who developed recurrent cancer following radical prostatectomy at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions between June 1982 and August 2004. Of these, 397 received no salvage radiation therapy, 160 received only salvage radiation, and 78 received both salvage radiation and hormonal therapy. Median follow-up was six years after recurrence.

Among men who had received radiotherapy for prostate cancer recurrence, the probability of surviving 10 years was 86 percent, compared to 62 percent among those who did not have radiation. For patients with rapidly growing tumors, defined by a PSA doubling time of less than six months, the benefits of salvage radiation therapy existed regardless of Gleason score, a numerical value that measures prostate cancer aggressiveness.

"This review suggests that even patients with aggressive cancer at the time of surgery not only benefit from salvage radiation therapy, but also actually live longer without a second prostate cancer recurrence," says Theodore L. DeWeese, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences. "This is the most important news for this group of patients in a long time."

DeWeese suggests that radiation oncologists and urologists now consider salvage radiation therapy for a broader group of patients with recurrent prostate cancer following surgery.

In addition to Trock, Walsh and DeWeese, the research team included Misop Han, M.D., of the Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins; Stephen J. Freedland, M.D., of the Surgery Section, Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Duke Prostate Center, Departments of Surgery and Pathology, Duke University School of Medicine; Elizabeth B. Humphreys, M.S. of the Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins; and Alan W. Partin, M.D., Ph.D., of the Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins.

Funding for this study was supported in part by the National Cancer Institute, gifts by Dr. and Mrs. Peter S. Bing, the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program, and the American Urological Association Foundation's Astellas Rising Star in Urology.

Vanessa Wasta | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhmi.edu
http://www.urology.jhu.edu
http://jama.ama-assn.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>