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Study: RT Coupled with Hormone Therapy Cuts Prostate Cancer Death by Half

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Based on a recent study conducted by Norwegian cancer researcher Sophie Fosså , combination treatments of radiation therapy (RT) and hormone therapy drastically halves mortality rates for prostate cancer.

Fosså, lead author of the study and a professor at Oslo University Hospital in Norway, presented her findings  at an international conference sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in San Francisco this week. Furthermore the study has gone on to be published in the Norwegian health journal Dagens Medisin.

According to the long term follow-up study, by introducing RT to the standard hormone treatment against prostate cancer, the 10 to 15 year survival rate for men with prostate cancer more than doubled.

Behind the study are Fosså and her team of researchers from The Scandinavian Prostate Cancer Group.

"When this study started in 1996, the standard treatment was hormone therapy alone, but this trial continues to show that adding radiotherapy substantially boosts long-term survival," explains Fosså.cancer

"This combination more than doubles the 10-year survival rate and confirms that this approach should be a standard option for men with this type of prostate cancer who are expected to live at least another 10 years."

All in all, 875 male patients from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark took part in the study. Of these, 653 participants were Norwegians.Among the 439 men who received hormone therapy alone, 118 died of prostate cancer.

- Among the 436 who were administered the combination treatment, 45 died of cancer.

- Among the patients who received hormone therapy only, the 10 and 15 year mortality rates were 18.9 percent and 30.7 percent, respectively.

- Among those who underwent the combination treatment, the rates amounted to 8.3 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively.

The figures presented by Fosså at the ASCO conference are a follow-up to a previous study, published in The Lancet in 2009 where Fosså and her colleagues display how RT in conjunction with hormone treatment diminished prostate cancer mortality from 24 to 12 percent.

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