The Prostate Cancer Game Changer

ASCO Meeting

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) doctors and researchers joined together over the weekend to share a “practice-changing” study on the treatment of metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. The press briefing pointed to research that found patient survival rates dramatically increase for those who receive initial chemotherapy with docetaxel alongside hormone therapy.

Oncologists have traditionally introduced chemotherapy after hormone therapy. The timing may be different, but the results prove that sometimes an adjustment there or change here, can dramatically improve patient health. Ultimately, this is a case of doctors reaching into their medical “toolbox” to meet patient needs instead of buying a whole new set.

The medical community previously gained access to the results of the study, known as E3805, but this weekend was confirmation that the process would move into the next stage.

Prostate Cancer Study: Facts and Conclusions

The study sample included 790 men with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. These patients received androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT), and within four months, 397 members of this sample group were randomly selected to receive chemotherapy with docetaxel every 3 weeks for 6 cycles.

Doctors found that patients experienced a decrease in the rate of cancer progression and death when chemotherapy was introduced earlier. The men who underwent chemotherapy and hormone therapy at the same time lived more than a year longer than patients who used the current treatment standards. Of course, with any such trial, the researchers found this combination of methods did negatively affect some patients’ white blood cells and nervous systems,while others did not experience the same dramatic results. But the overwhelming opinion is that there is hope for patients and their families.

According to Dr. Nancy Dawson, professor of medicine at Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, “The results of this study represent the first major breakthrough in the treatment of newly diagnosed metastatic prostate cancer in several decades. These results should change the standard of care for men with hormone-sensitive widespread prostate cancer.”

For information on the study, please visit the ASCO Annual Meeting Abstract page here.

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