Tags: Cancer | prostate | cancer | treatment | radiation

Most Prostate Cancer Patients Miss Out on Promising Treatment

By    |   Monday, 20 April 2015 04:03 PM

The vast majority of men who undergo prostate cancer surgery don’t follow it up with radiation therapy, despite strong evidence and guidelines supporting its use to reduce the risk of recurrence, new research shows.

Fewer than one in 10 men at risk of recurrence receive post-operative radiotherapy within six months of surgery in the U.S., according to the study published online in the journal European Urology.

Although radical prostatectomy is a common treatment for localized prostate cancer, about 30 percent of patients will suffer a recurrence — meaning their prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level will again rise. For some patients with more aggressive cancers, as many as 60-70 percent will have a recurrence.

Three major clinical trials in Europe and the United States have shown postoperative radiotherapy reduces the risk of PSA recurrence, which may in turn reduce the likelihood the cancer will spread to other parts of the body when it can become life-threatening.

In the U.S., the American Society for Radiation Oncology and American Urological Association recommend post-surgical radiation to patients at risk of recurrence.

But researchers from the American Cancer Society and Massachusetts General Hospital found that the use of radiotherapy in prostate cancer patients decreased steadily between 2005 and 2011 — from 9.1 percent to 7.3 percent.

The findings of the study — led by Helmneh Sineshaw, M.D., of the American Cancer Society — are based on a review of information from the National Cancer Data Base, a national hospital-based cancer registry database including the medical records of 97,270 patients between the ages of 18 and 79.

The authors suggested the declining use of radiation could be due to multiple factors including patient preferences, physician and referral biases, concern for toxicity, and a growing preference for "salvage radiation," which is only done if a patient's PSA rises in the weeks and months after surgery.

"The declining trend in the utilization of post-operative [radiation] calls for the attention of clinicians to make appropriate referrals to radiation oncologists or clinical oncologists when appropriate," the researchers wrote.

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Health-News
Nine in 10 men who undergo prostate cancer surgery don't follow it up with radiation therapy, despite strong evidence and guidelines supporting its use to reduce the risk of recurrence, new research shows.
prostate, cancer, treatment, radiation
334
2015-03-20
Monday, 20 April 2015 04:03 PM
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