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 Nitric oxide-scavenging hydrogel developed for rheumatoid arthritis treatment
06.06.2019 | Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH)

nachricht Infants later diagnosed with autism follow adults’ gaze, but seldom initiate joint attention
24.05.2019 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council

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: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

Im Focus: Tiny light box opens new doors into the nanoworld

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.

Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel communications architecture for future ultra-high speed wireless networks

17.06.2019 | Information Technology

Climate Change in West Africa

17.06.2019 | Earth Sciences

Robotic fish to replace animal testing

17.06.2019 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>