It was recently discovered that if hormone therapy (ADT) is added to radiation cancer deaths are lowered by nearly 50 % in men with locally advanced prostate cancer aged 76 to 85 compared to men who only received hormone therapy. Prior studies have shown that 40% of men with aggressive prostate cancers are treated with hormone therapy alone, which creates a substantial gap in curative cancer care amongst men in their 70s and 80s.

“Failure to use powerful remedies for older individuals with cancer is a well being care excellent concern in the United States. Radiation plus hormone therapy is such a remedy for males with aggressive prostate cancers,” mentioned lead author Justin E. Bekelman, MD, an assistant professor of Radiation Oncology, Healthcare Ethics and Health Policy at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine and Abramson Cancer Center. “Patients and their physicians ought to cautiously go over curative therapy solutions for prostate cancer and lessen the use of hormone therapy alone.”

Locally advanced prostate cancer must be taken seriously. It is cancer that has spread out of the gland, but still close to the prostate gland. Locally advanced prostate cancer is an aggressive malignancy that is prone to metastasize to other body parts and cause cancer deaths.

There are two prior clinical trials have shown that radiation plus hormone therapy produces a large and important improvement in survival in younger men relative to hormone therapy alone, but till now there has been no comparable research on therapy for older men.

The researchers compared the combination of radiation plus hormone therapy versus hormone therapy alone among 541 men with prostate cancer ranging in age from 65 years to 85 years. In the men aged 65 to 75 years old radiation plus hormone therapy was linked with a reduction in prostate cancer deaths of 57% relative to hormone therapy alone. In the men aged 76 to 85 years old, radiation plus hormone therapy was connected with a reduction in prostate cancer deaths of 49% relative to hormone therapy alone.

Based on the prior studies as well as this study it becomes very clear that no matter what your age in men with locally advanced prostate cancer hormone therapy (ADT) should be added to radation therapy to extend survival.

Joel T Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.