"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Hormone therapy doesn’t improve survival in men with localized prostate cancer.

By Charlie Schmidt

Prostate cancer cells need testosterone to grow and thrive. Interfering with the body's ability to make and use this hormone, also often known as androgen, has been a mainstay of contemporary prostate cancer treatment for the reason that Nineteen Seventies. This approach is named androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) since it cuts off the provision of testosterone to prostate cancer cells and the remaining of the body.

In men with cancer that has spread beyond the prostate gland, radiation therapy plus ADT can reduce symptoms and improve survival. But some doctors give ADT on their very own to tens of millions of men with localized tumors which have not spread beyond the prostate. Some experts see this as a worrisome trend because unwanted side effects of ADT can include impotence, bone fractures, weight gain, diabetes and heart disease. Guidelines for the treatment of prostate cancer have never supported using ADT for early-stage (localized) prostate cancer.

A brand new study from Rutgers University shows that men with localized prostate cancer don't live as long in the event that they are treated with ADT. For these men, “ADT will not be beneficial” by way of survival advantages, lead writer Grace L. Lu-Yao, a researcher on the Rutgers Cancer Institute in New Jersey, told me. It was a study. I was published online. JAMA Internal Medicine.

Lu-Yao and colleagues studied greater than 66,000 men aged 66 and older who were diagnosed with localized prostate cancer between 1992 and 2009. Medicaid services. Men who received ADT didn't live longer than men who didn't receive hormone therapy.

At 110 months, the brand new study's mean follow-up time was significantly longer than previous investigations that reached the identical conclusion. For example, after reviewing the records of 15,170 men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer between 1995 and 2008, investigators at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., found that survival amongst men treated with ADT Didn't see any profit. I write Journal of Clinical Oncologythe researchers suggested that men with more aggressive tumors may profit from the treatment, although this stays to be proven.

Why might a health care provider prescribe ADT for a person with localized prostate cancer regardless that there's little evidence to support this approach? ADT may appear to be a proactive step for a person who desires to explore all available options. And while survival might not be affected, doctors could have other reasons to contemplate ADT, especially for older men who could also be too sick to undergo surgery to remove the prostate, or who've There could also be other reasons for undergoing radiation therapy.