The clinical outcome for prostate cancer patients who have been treatedwith hormone therapy and radiation therapy can usually be determined byhow rapidly their prostate specific antigen level rises followingtreatment, according to a report published in the October 1, 2005 issueof the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, theofficial journal of ASTRO.
Doctors at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston studied 621 menwith prostate cancer treated with hormone and radiation therapy between1989 and 2003 to determine whether clinical failure after theirtreatment correlated with the speed at which their post treatment PSAlevel rose. Clinical failure was defined as cancer recurring in theprostate or spreading to other parts of the body.
Researchers found that measuring how quickly the PSA leveldoubled was a good indicator of subsequent poor clinical outcomes,including cancer developing in other parts of the body or death relatedto prostate cancer.
Patients whose PSA level doubled within eight months aftertreatment failure were more likely to have the cancer return or spreadto other parts of the body than patients whose PSA did not double ineight months or less. The estimated five-year rate of clinical failurefor patients with a PSA doubling time of more than eight months wasonly 9.4 percent while 60.4 percent of patients whose PSA doubling timewas less than or equal to eight months could expect some type ofclinical failure.
"The PSA doubling time is an important indicator of how well apatient will recover from prostate cancer," said Andrew K. Lee, M.D.,lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at M.D. AndersonCancer Center in Houston. "Although clinical outcomes may be positivelyaffected if the patient receives hormone therapy with radiationtherapy, a quickly rising PSA level unfortunately still portends poorresults for these patients."
For more information on radiation therapy for prostate cancer, please visit http://www.rtanswers.org.
ASTRO is the largest radiation oncology society in the world,with more than 8,000 members who specialize in treating patients withradiation therapies. As a leading organization in radiation oncology,biology and physics, the Society is dedicated to the advancement of thepractice of radiation oncology by promoting excellence in patient care,providing opportunities for educational and professional development,promoting research and disseminating research results and representingradiation oncology in a rapidly evolving socioeconomic healthcareenvironment.
Materials provided by American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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