Taking Breaks from Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapy Recommended, Experts Say
Taking periodic breaks from prostate cancer therapy may be advisable for patients, medical experts say, pointing to results from a current study on patient response to a new prostate cancer treatment plan. The new plan called the “stop-and-start-hormone-deprivation” therapy for localized prostate cancer doesn’t shorten overall survival compared to continuous therapy. This is more good news for prostate cancer patients as more updates on treatments surface like one study that reports bisphosphonates may relieve bone metastasized prostate cancer pain.
A team of Canadian, American and British researchers found that intermittent hormone treatments were sufficient to suppress circulating male hormones that fed prostate tumors. Intermittent therapy also didn’t increase the risks that patients whose prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were slowly rising would eventually die from their condition.
The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, documented approximately 1,400 participants whose localized prostate cancer was either treated with surgery or radiation. With one group receiving continuous hormone-deprivation therapy and the other on eight month cycles followed by months-long breaks depending on their PSA levels. Rising PSA levels were taken as a major indicator for prostate cancer progression even if CT and MRI scans do not detect any symptoms of the disease. Patients were immediately put back on hormone-deprivation therapy as soon as their PSA were taken to be at dangerous levels.
Of the study participants, only 14.2 percent overall had died from prostate cancer, showing that those on who were intermittent therapy had an 8.8 years survival rate compared to 9.1 years of those on continuous therapy.
The study author, Dr. Juanita Crook, stated that some of the benefits of this type of therapy is that as the patients skip hormone suppression treatment for months on end they were able to have fewer side-effects associated with it, such as impotence, depression, bone-loss and hot flashes. Also since, those on intermittent therapy received only one-third of the treatment doses that those on continuous therapy did, there is a great savings in cost which is another plus for the treatment plan.
The quality of life for these patients has been noticeably improved without seemingly any detriment to their chances for survival. However researchers have acknowledged the need for further study for standardizing this type of treatment before it can be used widely in the medical world.
If readers want to know about osteoporosis or filing a Fosamax class action lawsuit in case of suffering injury from osteoporosis treatment, updates and information can be found in online blogs.
Add blog to our blog directory.