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Cryotherapy Effective in Localized Prostate Cancer

Biochemical disease-free survival rate at 10 years comparable to that of surgery and radiation

FRIDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- In men with localized prostate cancer, cryosurgery alone provides long-term disease control equivalent to that of surgery and radiation with much milder side effects, according to a landmark study published in the March issue of Urology.

Jeffrey K. Cohen, M.D., of Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa., and colleagues analyzed data on 370 patients who underwent prostate cryosurgery as primary monotherapy between 1991 and 1996.

After a median follow-up of 12.55 years, the researchers found that biochemical disease-free survival rate at 10 years -- defined as nadir plus 2 ng/dL -- was 80.56 percent for low-risk patients, 74.16 percent for moderate-risk patients and 45.54 percent for high-risk patients. They also found that the 10-year negative biopsy rate was 76.96 percent.

"Acceptance of cryotherapy as a viable therapeutic alternative for prostate cancer has steadily grown over the past decade," Cohen said in a statement. "It is still considered controversial by many as a primary treatment modality, however, because of concerns about the procedure's long-term efficacy. Our study's findings allay that concern, particularly among low-risk patients."

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