The study also shows that patients with prostate cancer who didn’t receive androgen deprivation therapy and who did not receive pelvic lymph node radiation had a five-year survival of 70%.
The international Phase III clinical trial that served as the basis of The Lancet study, enrolled 1,716 patients between March 31, 2008, and March 30, 2015. Enrollees were separated into three groups. Group one received salvage prostate bed radiotherapy – a standard radiation targeted to the area in which the prostate used to exist before its surgical removal. These patients had a median five-year survival of 71%. The second group received the standard radiation treatment, in combination with androgen deprivation therapy. They had a median five-year survival of 81%. The third group received salvage prostate bed radiotherapy, androgen deprivation therapy and pelvic lymph node radiation. These patients had a five-year freedom from progression of just over 87%.
“The combined treatment approach proved to be the most beneficial approach,” said Sandler, Professor of Radiation Oncology at Cedars-Sinai.
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in the U.S., affecting 1 in every 6 to 7 men. While there are rarely early warning signs of the disease, there is a robust screening test that can catch the disease in its earliest stages. Diagnosis usually accompanies an elevated level of PSA, an acronym for prostate-specific antigen.
Many men diagnosed with prostate cancer will undergo a Prostatectomy – the surgical removal of the prostate. After surgery, a man’s PSA level should be near zero. However, some men start to see their PSA levels rise several years after surgery. This is typically an indication that radiation therapy is needed.
Men with postoperative prostate cancer can have excellent outcomes, especially if radiation is given early – when PSA levels are at their lowest – and in combination with proven therapies, as suggested in this new research.
“Improving and extending lives is at the heart of all we do at Cedars-Sinai Cancer,” said Dan Theodorescu, MD, Ph.D. “These pivotal clinical findings exemplify our mission while showcasing how ideas spur leading-edge research and treatment innovations.”