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Extended hormone therapy doesn't help some prostate cancer patients

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MONDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- For men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer, long-term hormone therapy after radiation therapy provides no survival advantages compared with short-term hormone therapy, according to a new study.

Hormone therapy is used to reduce the levels of male hormones (androgens) such as testosterone, which can stimulate the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Researchers examined data from 133 men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer who underwent either long-term hormone therapy (59 patients) or short-term hormone therapy (74 patients) after receiving external beam radiation therapy.

Ten-year overall survival was 61 percent in the short-term group and 65 percent in the long-term group, which is not a statistically significant difference. Disease-specific survival was 96 percent in both groups.

The study was scheduled for presentation Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, in Atlanta.

"Most clinicians have felt that 'more was better' when it came to blocking testosterone in prostate cancer patients, however, results for the specific endpoints we focused on, OS [overall survival] and DSS [disease-specific survival], indicate that this was clearly not the case," study lead author Dr. Amin Mirhadi, a radiation oncologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said in a society news release.

"This data supports administering less treatment, which will result in fewer side effects and reduce patients' overall health care costs," Mirhadi added.

The data and conclusions of research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The Urology Care Foundation has more about hormone therapy for prostate cancer.

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