Different Treatment Options Appear Equally Effective in Early Prostate Cancer

Results recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that among men with early prostate cancer that is detected through prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, treatment with either surgery, radiation therapy, or active monitoring all appear to provide approximately the same survival rates at 10 years.

Since treatment options can be associated with side effects that can greatly diminish the long-term quality of life for patients, men often choose their treatment based on possible side effects as well as other medical conditions they might have that make certain treatment options risky for them.

Researchers conducted a long-term study to evaluate 10-year survival rates of men with early prostate cancer that was detected with a PSA test.  The study included over 82,000 men aged 50 to 69 years of age who were treated with either active monitoring, radiation, or a prostatectomy.  Patients were followed for 10 years following their diagnosis and at that time, there was no significant difference in the rate of deaths caused by prostate cancer, nor the rate of deaths by any cause between the 3 treatment groups.  Also, rates of cancer progression and spread were higher among the men undergoing active monitoring, than those who underwent surgery or radiation therapy and the overall mortality rate remained low at 10 years for all men, irrespective of their initial therapeutic regimen.

They concluded that “At a median of 10 years, prostate-cancer–specific mortality was low irrespective of the treatment assigned, with no significant difference among treatments.  Surgery and radiotherapy were associated with lower incidences of disease progression and metastases than was active monitoring.”

These long-term results can help physicians and researchers to provide optimal treatment options to men with low-grade prostate cancer.  Patients diagnosed with this disease may strongly wish to consider side effects associated with each treatment regimen, and discuss the risks and benefits of all therapeutic options with their healthcare provider.

One prostate cancer treatment option with minimal, if any, side effects and is ideal for patients not wanting to undergo surgery is CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery.  At the CyberKnife Center of Chicago, men diagnosed with prostate cancer are treated with CyberKnife, a painless, nonsurgical prostate cancer treatment technology in which high-dose radiation is delivered to the tumor from a linear accelerator mounted on a highly maneuverable robotic arm.  Hundreds of different angles enable the radiation to be contoured to the shape of the prostate, resulting in treatment aimed directly to the prostate gland, avoiding nearby critical anatomy.  This precision reduces treatment time to just five outpatient visits, compared to the average 45 visits conventional radiation therapy requires.

To learn more about how the CyberKnife Center of Chicago treats prostate cancer, please click here.