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Long-Term Hormone Therapy Can Help Prostate Cancer Patients

Giving men with locally advanced prostate cancer a more promising outlook may call for the use of an extended round of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) after radiotherapy, researchers say. This commonly used hormone treatment has proven itself much more effective when an extended course of treatment is offered.

Those findings come from a study conducted by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group. Researchers found over a 20-year study period that long-term ADT had strong impacts on improving the disease-free survival rate for men as opposed to shorter doses of treatment following radiation. At a median follow up range of 20 years, researchers found the disease-free survival rate for men with long-term therapy was 16 percent versus 10 percent for those only given shorter courses.

ADT is commonly used in the treatment of more advanced or aggressive cases of prostate cancer. The therapy, however, is often given for shorter periods of time after the use of radiation to help kill off cancer cells. Long-term ADT is defined as a dosing that lasts for at least two years following radiation therapy.

Hormone therapy is considered an important part of the care routine in many forms of cancer. When measures such as ADT are taken, the therapy helps starve cancer cells from the nutrition they need to survive. This extra layer of protection can help ensure that stray cancer cells potentially left behind after radiation do not have the ability to thrive.

Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer should carefully discuss all treatment options with their healthcare providers. ADT is not recommended in all forms of prostate cancer. Its use is generally restricted to men with more advanced cases of the disease. The best treatment options for a patient will depend greatly on the particulars of the case in question.