In the randomized study of 1,205 men investigating the appropriate treatment for high-risk prostate cancer, half the participants received hormone therapy alone and half received hormone therapy plus radiation. After seven years, 66 per cent of men who had hormone therapy only were still alive, compared with 74 per cent who received the combined therapy. Among those in the hormone-only group, 26 per cent died from their prostate cancer versus 10 per cent who received hormone therapy plus radiation.
“These are significant findings,” says Wendy Parulekar, associate professor of oncology and a senior author of the study. “The results of the study refute the standard notion of using hormone therapy only for locally advanced prostate cancer. Currently available treatment options can be combined to improve the chances for men with high-risk prostate cancer.”
This Canadian led study represented a major collaborative effort involving researchers and patients in North America and the United Kingdom. The study was made possible through NCIC CTG’s grant funding from the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, the U.S. National Cancer Institute and collaboration with the UK Medical Research Council.
The NCIC CTG is a cooperative group at Queen’s University that conducts trials testing anti-cancer and supportive therapies across Canada and internationally. It is a national research program of the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute.