Carolyn Vachani, RN, MSN, AOCN
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: October 25, 2005
Prostate cancer is often treated with radiation and hormone deprivation therapies (or "total androgen suppression"), but there is no consensus among experts in the field about how to deliver these therapies. Radiation can be given to the entire abdominal area, or to just the prostate. Total androgen suppression (TAS) can be given at the same time as radiation, or following the completion of radiation. The study discussed here enrolled patients with intermediate- or high-risk localized prostate cancer from 1995 until 1999, all of whom completed therapy and are being followed for any recurrence of the cancer. Early follow-up data was presented in 2003 and showed a possible benefit to whole abdomen radiation, but that difference has evened out at this time with longer follow-up. The reviewer points out that the doses of abdominal radiation used in this study are not what is currently used, so it is difficult to compare these results to present treatments. The study has not yet found any difference in using TAS during or after radiation therapy. With regards to this study, it seems that more years of follow up might make the results clearer.