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Adding radiotherapy to hormone therapy halves deaths from high-risk prostate cancer

18 February 2015

Long-term results from the PR07 trial have confirmed that adding radiotherapy to the treatment of men who have high-risk prostate cancer with improves survival. These results were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology today.

Adding radiotherapy to long-term hormone therapy halved the risk of men dying from prostate cancer within 8 years (see infographic below). These results confirm the findings of an interim analysis that was published in the Lancet in 2011.

The randomised controlled trial, known in the UK as MRC PR07, recruited patients between 1995 and 2005. 1,205 patients took part in the trial. Each man had 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 hormone therapy and radiotherapy.

Professor Malcolm Mason, from the Cardiff University School of Medicine, said, "It's very encouraging to see that the benefits of adding radiotherapy to prostate cancer treatment are maintained over the long-term. This will give hope to men fighting this disease."

The combination of radiotherapy and hormone therapy is now an increasingly common approach to treating locally-advanced prostate cancer. However, some men are still being treated with hormone therapy alone. The researchers say that all men with locally-advanced prostate cancer who are fit enough for radiotherapy should be offered it in addition to hormone therapy. Reducing the number of men who are treated with hormone therapy alone could save thousands of lives.

 

Infographic displaying the long-term results of the PRO7 trial.

 

The PR07 trial registration number is ISRCTN24991896. The trial was coordinated by NCIC Clinical Trials Group, Ontario, Canada and MRC Clinical Trials Unit in the UK.