Radiotherapy a key element in long-term prostate cancer survival – study

10 May 2016320 Views

A study of hundreds of prostate cancer sufferers in Scandinavia has found that the addition of radiotherapy as a treatment can dramatically increases patients’ chances of being alive 15 years after diagnosis.

Adding radiotherapy to hormone therapy when treating sufferers of prostate cancer could half the risk of death from the disease for a full 15 years after original diagnosis – with the likelihood dropping from 34pc to 17pc.

Anders Widmark, senior physician and professor at Umeå University, made the finding after a major study of 875 patients treated for locally-advanced prostate or aggressive prostate cancer.


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All patients were given a total androgen blockade for three months, with continuous antiandrogen monotherapy thereafter. After the initial three months, they were also split into radiotherapy and non-radiotherapy treatment.

This is a follow up to a previous 2009 study, with the patients used in the research originally diagnosed and treated from 1996-2002 – the average lifespan of those who received radiotherapy was prolonged by 2.4 years.

Anders Widmark, professor in Oncology at Umeå University in Sweden, via Umeå University

Anders Widmark, professor in Oncology at Umeå University in Sweden, via Umeå University

“In this follow-up study, we present even more evident results that clearly show how patients who previously were considered incurable, to a large extent, can be cured, and that these patients should therefore be offered radiotherapy as an additional treatment,” said Widmark.

Doctor consultation image, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt is senior communications and content executive at NDRC. He previously worked as a journalist with Silicon Republic.