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Radiation Delay Does Not Affect Prostate Cancer Relapse

Treatment delayed more than 40 days has little effect on biochemical relapse rates

FRIDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Delaying radiotherapy for prostate cancer more than 40 days after the initial consultation has no significant effect on biochemical relapse rates, according to study results published in the October issue of the American Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Sergio L. Faria, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, examined the effect of radiotherapy waiting times on biochemical relapse (defined as three rises in prostate-specific antigen levels) in 288 patients with localized prostate adenocarcinoma treated with external-beam irradiation alone.

The researchers found that after five years, the biochemical relapse rate was 44 percent, while mean waiting times increased from 26 to 123 days between 1992 and 2000. After a mean follow-up of 6.1 years, there was no significant increase in the risk of biochemical relapse in patients treated more than 40 days after the initial consultation after adjusting for known prognostic factors.

"Delaying the start of radiotherapy showed little effect on the rate of biochemical relapse in the group of 288 prostate cancer patients analyzed in this study," the authors conclude.

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