Does a time delay between prostate cancer diagnosis and start of radiation treatment matter?
Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers examine wait times and outcomes
Men who wait as long as three months after their prostate cancer diagnosis to receive radiation treatment do not fare worse than those who have treatment sooner. That is the result of a new study by researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center presented today at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology in Atlanta, Ga.
"The time between initial diagnosis and external-beam radiation therapy can be delayed for various reasons," explained the studys lead author, Stephen F. Andrews, D.O., chief resident in the Fox Chase radiation oncology department. Some of the reasons for delay, Andrews said, include the belief by many physicians that all prostate cancer is slow-growing, consideration of multiple treatment options and opinions, more labor-intensive treatment planning and long wait times from the start of planning to the start of treatment. Often if a delay is expected hormone therapy is prescribed.
"The time delay is a real concern for the patient, and physicians have limited data to guide them regarding the urgency of treatment. "The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of treatment delay on the outcome of these men who choose external-beam radiation," Andrews said.
The study looked at data for 1,498 patients treated with external-beam radiation between 1981 and 2001. The median follow-up was 57 months, with a minimum of two years. Time to treatment was defined by the interval between the first positive biopsy and the initiation of radiation therapy. Patients were categorized into four groups in relation to time to treatment: less than three months (n=589), three to six months (n=629), six to nine months (n=94) and more than nine months (n=67). A second analysis was performed which evaluated outcomes at the median time to treatment of 3.2 months.
"Our findings show that a delay, within the limits of this study, from the time of diagnosis to the start of treatment with external-beam radiation does not alter ultimate clinical outcome," Andrews stated. "Another important finding here is that the use of hormone therapy during the treatment delay does not affect outcome and should be avoided in men with favorable risk factors.
"Obviously, definitive treatment for prostate cancer should begin as soon as possible after diagnosis. However, patients and physicians can use this information to alleviate concerns over delaying treatment in order to make a well informed treatment decisions," Andrews concluded.
Colleen Kirsch | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...