Hormone Blockers Can Prolong Life if Prostate Cancer Recurs

Excerpt:

“Men whose prostate cancer comes back after surgery are more likely to survive if, along with the usual radiation, they also take drugs to block male hormones.

“The finding, published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, comes from a long-running study that experts say will help clarify treatment for many patients.

“After surgery to remove the prostate, more than 30 percent of men have a recurrence, and until now there has not been clear evidence about the best way to stop the disease from killing them. Most are given radiation, but prescribing drugs to counter the effects of male hormones has been inconsistent.”

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Two-Drug Combination Boosts Survival in Metastatic Prostate Cancer

“Newly diagnosed patients with metastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer gained a dramatic survival benefit when started on two drugs simultaneously, rather than delaying the second drug until the cancer began to worsen, according to results of a clinical trial led by a Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientist.

“Patients who underwent six cycles of treatment with the chemotherapy drug docetaxel along with a hormone blocker survived for a median of 57.6 months, more than a year longer than the median 44-month survival for men who received only the hormone-blocker, according to a report in The New England Journal of Medicine. The immediate combination also prolonged the period before the cancer began to worsen – a median of 20.2 months versus 11.7 months with the single agent.

“The multi-center, phase III trial, involving 790 patients, ‘is the first to identify a strategy that prolongs survival in men newly diagnosed with metastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer,’ said Christopher J. Sweeney, MBBS, of Dana-Farber’s Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology. He said the results of the multi-center phase III trial should change the way doctors have routinely treated such patients since the 1940s.”