In a new study, researchers found that a combination of prostate removal plus radiation therapy may help more prostate cancer patients live longer.
The research was conducted by a team from Thomas Jefferson University.
There has been a lot of debate about whether to remove the whole prostate and follow up with radiation therapy.
Or, as a second option, to spare the prostate and treat it using radiation therapy plus hormone-blocking therapy.
The risks of prostate removal include a higher chance of developing incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
The risks linked to radiation treatment and hormone therapy are less common and often thought to have a lower impact on the quality of life.
In the current study, the team aimed to see if the combination of the therapies could benefit men with prostate cancer.
They reviewed the records of 13,856 men diagnosed with locally advanced prostate cancer. The cancer growth had not yet metastasized to distant sites in the body.
They looked at the patients who were treated either with prostatectomy (prostate removal) plus adjuvant radiation as one group and compared them to another group who were treated with radiation therapy plus hormone-blocking therapy.
They examined which group did better 10 to15 years after their procedures.
The results showed that removing the prostate followed by adjuvant radiotherapy is associated with greater overall survival in men with prostate cancer.
Ten years after treatment, 89% of the prostate removal plus radiation group was still alive.
That compared with the 74% survival at ten years in the group that received only radiation plus hormone therapy.
The team also found that men who received the therapy combo had higher rates of erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.
They suggest that combining prostate removal and radiotherapy could help prostate cancer patients live longer but this means more side effects.
Currently, only about 29% of patients received the recommended combination therapies. The team suggests that doctors should recommend the combination to more patients.
The senior author of the study is Grace Lu-Yao, Ph.D.
The study is published in Cancer.
Copyright © 2019 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.