Prostate Cancer Study Reveals New Info on Treatment

Media Outlet: NBC 5 News, Fort Worth, TX
September 16, 2016

Dr. Andrew Lee, medical director of Texas Center for Proton Therapy, discusses prostate cancer screening and treatment options in light of a new study comparing outcomes in patients who chose treatment and those who opted for active monitoring of their cancer.

Over 1,600 men with early localized prostate cancer were randomized to one of three treatment regimens: radical prostatectomy (RP), external beam radiation therapy with three months of hormone therapy (RT), or active monitoring (AM) with an opportunity for delayed intervention.

This trial showed the following results:

  1. Men who elected to be treated early, with either RP or RT, had less spread of cancer compared to men who had AM.
  2. Over 54% of men on the AM arm eventually needed to have definitive therapy, and many within the first three years.
  3. With a median follow-up of 10 years, there was no difference in overall survival between the three arms, but longer follow-up may show a difference.
  4. The radiation techniques used in this study were crude compared to modern techniques, such as proton therapy, and we would expect to see better results and fewer side effects with proton therapy compared to the x-ray therapy used in this study.