Salvage Radiation Improves Prostate Cancer Survival Time

Treatment within two years of recurrence effective regardless of pathological stage

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- In men with a recurrence of prostate cancer and a prostate-specific antigen doubling time of less than six months, salvage radiation can increase disease-specific survival, according to a report published in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Bruce J. Trock, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed data from a cohort of 635 men who underwent prostatectomy from 1982 to 2004, and who were followed-up through December 2007. During the study period, 397 patients experienced either biochemical recurrence, local recurrence or both. While 160 patients were given salvage radiotherapy, 78 were treated with salvage radiotherapy and hormone therapy.

In the nine years after prostatectomy and a median six years of follow-up after recurrence, 116 men (18 percent) died, of whom 89 (22 percent) received no salvage treatment, 18 (11 percent) received only salvage radiotherapy and nine (12 percent) received both hormonal therapy and salvage radiation. While hormone therapy did not improve disease-specific survival, salvage radiotherapy was associated with a threefold increase in survival compared to patients who were not given any salvage treatment.

"If validated in other settings, these results could motivate a clinical trial comparing adjuvant with salvage radiotherapy, with prostate cancer-specific survival and overall survival as the primary end points," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed a financial relationship with the pharmaceutical industry.

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