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Hormone treatment plus radiotherapy double prostate survival rates

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Men with locally advanced prostate cancer can double their survival chances by having six months of hormone treatment and radiotherapy, according to research.

Results showed that over a 10-year period, men who received the combination treatment were half as likely to die as those given radiotherapy alone.

Long-term use of hormone therapy, also known as androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) could create a number of side-effects, including hot flushes, impotence, fatigue, high cholesterol, anaemia, heart damage and osteoporosis.

But the new approach involved the “neoadjuvant” use of ADT both before and during radiotherapy (NADT).

A team led by Dr Jim Denham at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, tested the treatments on 802 men all with locally advanced prostate cancer. They were either treated with radiotherapy alone or three or six months of ADT plus radiotherapy.

Men who had six months of ADT in conjunction with radiotherapy had an 11% death rate over the decade, compared to 22% for men treated with radiotherapy alone.

The chances of death due to any cause were reduced by a third, from 29% to 43%.

But three months of the combination treatment had no effect on death rates or the likelihood of cancer spreading.

Dr Jim Denham, from the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, and colleagues reported their findings in an online edition of medical journal The Lancet Oncology.

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