Reduced time of prostate-cancer treatment doesn’t affect life expectancy

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High-risk prostate-cancer patients who shorten the span of hormone therapy can live just as long as patients who receive the full duration of treatment, according to a new study.

The study’s results were announced today at the Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. Researchers found that patients who received 18 months of hormone-replacement therapy have the same life-expectancy rate as patients who received 36 months of hormone-replacement therapy.

Researchers say shorter treatment could reduce a patients’ exposure to side effects, such as decreased libido, depression, fatigue, loss of bone and muscle density, and weight gain.

The hormone-replacement therapy that was used in the study involves treatment with bicalutamide (Casodex) or goserelin (Zoladex), which are manufactured by AstraZeneca.

Researchers from Royal College of Physicians of Canada assigned 630 high-risk prostate- cancer patients to either 18 months or 36 months of hormone-replacement therapy. After 6-1/2 years, the researchers followed up with patients and found that 76.2 percent of patients who received 18 months of treatment still were alive, compared with 77.1 percent among patients who received 36 months of treatment.

The study found that 63.2 percent of patients who received 18 months of treatment survived for at least 10 years, compared with 63.6 percent among patients who received 36 months of treatment.