Recent advances in the treatment of prostate cancer.
As new evidence for prostate cancer treatment has emerged in the last few years, longstanding controversies in the treatment of prostate cancer have resurfaced. A number of long-held tenets of prostate cancer therapy have been revisited, sometimes with surprising and challenging results. Although neoadjuvant hormonal therapy prior to radical prostatectomy decreases positive surgical margin rates, longer follow-up is needed to support survival improvement of this combined modality therapy. Androgen deprivation combined with radiation therapy appears to improve disease-free survival (and survival in one series) in patients with locally advanced cancer. Another approach to locally advanced prostate cancer using three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy may improve long term outcome. The data are currently insufficient to conclude that interstitial low dose rate brachytherapy is equivalent to conventional treatments: patients with small tumor volumes and low Gleason grade seem to obtain more benefit, whereas for large tumors with higher gleason grades this approach seems inferior to conventional treatments. In advanced prostate cancer recent data suggest that immediate hormonal therapy improves survival. In this group of patients the use of maximum androgen blockade remains controversial but may adversely affect quality of life compared to orchiectomy alone. Intermittent hormonal therapy may improve quality of life, although effect upon survival is unknown. Chemotherapy in combination with androgen deprivation is currently being studied as front-line therapy in advanced prostate cancer. Palliative benefit of chemotherapy for hormone refractory prostate cancer remains an important endpoint; survival advantage has not been seen in any randomized trials. Suramin may delay disease progression in hormone refractory prostate cancer. Many aspects of prostate cancer treatment will remain controversial until results of large, randomized trials with longer follow-up are available.
Kuyu, H; Lee, WR; Bare, R; Hall, MC; Torti, FM
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