When I returned from the conference (see yesterday’s post) I kept seeing notices and announcements from a new retrospective study out of John;s Hopkins that showed that men with prostate cancer tumors that recur after prostate cancer surgery are three times more likely to survive their disease long term if they undergo radiotherapy within two years of the recurrence! What was even more shocking was that the significant survival benefits were best when the new tumors were growing fastest. The study included a sample of 635 men.

There have been prior studies that showed radiation therapy for recurrent prostate cancer reduced disease progression, but this is the first study that demonstrates that radiation also prolongs survival.

According to Bruce J. Trock, Ph.D., associate professor of urology, epidemiology, oncology, and environmental health studies, and director of the Division of Epidemiology in the Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins, “this new study tells us is that even men with aggressive disease that has recurred after surgery appear to benefit from radiation therapy. It also means that we may be able to give radiation selectively to those who are really likely to benefit from it.”

The well known doctor, Patrick C. Walsh, M.D., University Distinguished Service P