Public Release:  Prostate cancer patients disease free after 5 years likely to be disease free after 10 years

American Society for Radiation Oncology

Prostate cancer patients who receive brachytherapy and remain free of disease for five years or greater are unlikely to have a recurrence at 10 years, according to a study in the July 1 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

Brachytherapy is the placement of radioactive sources in or just next to a tumor either permanently or temporarily, depending upon the cancer.

In the study, researchers at The Mount Sinai Medical Center Departments of Radiation Oncology and Urology in New York followed 742 prostate cancer patients who were treated with brachytherapy alone, brachytherapy and hormonal therapy, or combined brachytherapy and external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) between 1991 and 2002. None of these patients had recurred during their first five years post-treatment. They found that the PSA level taken at five years was an indicator of how well a patient would do in the future and the overall chance of being cancer free at 10 years was 97 percent.

Also, none of the study participants developed metastatic disease or died from prostate cancer.

"Our data have indicated that improvements in treatment are continuing and that these will continue to have an effect on prostate brachytherapy data for years to come," Richard Stock, M.D., lead author of the study and chairman of radiation oncology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, said. "Late failure rates will continue to decrease, making prostate brachytherapy alone and combined with hormonal therapy and/or EBRT an increasingly attractive treatment option."

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ASTRO is the largest radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 10,000 members who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As the leading organization in radiation oncology, biology and physics, the Society is dedicated to improving patient care through education, clinical practice, advancement of science and advocacy. For more information on radiation therapy, visit www.rtanswers.org. To learn more about ASTRO, visit www.astro.org.

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