Long-term results from the PR07 trial have confirmed that treating men with high-risk prostate cancer with external-beam radiotherapy in addition to hormone therapy improves survival, compared to hormone therapy alone. These results were announced on 5th June 2012 at the ASCO conference in Chicago.
These findings, based on an average of 8 years of follow-up, show that adding radiotherapy increases overall survival, and halves the risk of death from prostate cancer. These results confirm the findings of interim analysis that was published in the Lancet last November.
The randomised controlled trial, known in the UK as MRC PR07, recruited patients between 1995 and 2005. It involved 1,205 patients with locally-advanced prostate cancer (which had grown outside the surface of the prostate but had not spread further). Half were treated with hormone therapy and the other half were treated with a combination of the same hormone therapy and a course of radiotherapy.
The combination of adding radiotherapy to hormone therapy is an increasingly common approach to treating locally-advanced prostate cancer but some men with locally-advanced prostate cancer are still treated with hormone therapy alone. The evidence now available shows that radiotherapy (given in addition to hormone therapy) does improve survival, so this should be the standard of care for these men.
The PR07 trial registration number is ISRCTN24991896. The trial was coordinated by NCIC Clinical Trials Group, Ontario, Canada and MRC Clinical Trials Unit, London, UK.