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Family History Doesn't Affect Prostate Cancer Outcomes

Control rates of localized disease similar in men with and without family history of the disease

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In men with clinically localized prostate cancer, treatment outcomes are similar between those with a family history of the disease and those with sporadic disease, according to study findings published in the January issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology - Biology - Physics.

Christopher A. Peters, M.D., of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues studied 1,738 patients -- including 187 (11 percent) with a family history of prostate cancer in a first-degree relative -- who received low-dose-rate brachytherapy alone or in combination with external beam radiation therapy or hormone ablation.

After a median follow-up of 60 months, the researchers found no significant differences in five-year freedom from biochemical failure rates among low-risk patients with or without a family history of prostate cancer (97.2 percent versus 95.5 percent) or among high-risk patients with or without a family history of prostate cancer (92.8 percent versus 85.2 percent). Among intermediate-risk patients, the investigators found that those with a positive family history showed a trend toward improved biochemical control (100 percent versus 93.6 percent).

"This information is relevant for both physicians and patients with new diagnoses as they embark on complex treatment decisions," the authors conclude. "The vast majority of published data suggests that men with familial prostate cancer have clinical-pathologic characteristics and biochemical control similar to those of men with sporadic disease, regardless of the treatment modality chosen."

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