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Radiation Plus Hormonal Therapy More Effective Than Radiation Alone For Certain Prostate Cancer Patients

PHILADELPHIA (October 25, 2000) -- A combination of radiation and hormonal therapy is more effective than radiation alone for certain prostate cancer patients with more aggressive disease, a Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) study has found. The study was presented at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology Annual Meeting in Boston, Mass. on October 25 at 9:10 a.m.

The study is the first radiation therapy series to compare treatment results for patients with Gleason Score 4+3 (those with more aggressive cancer cells) and Gleason Score 3+4 (less aggressive cancer cells). Specifically, the study found that the Gleason 4+3 patients did worse than the other group when treated with radiation alone.

"When hormonal therapy was added to radiation therapy for the 4+3 group the patients did as well as those in the 3+4 (less aggressive cancer) group," lead author Penny Anderson, M.D. said. Dr. Anderson is an associate member of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center.

She said that there was a statistically significant difference between those patients with the more aggressive prostate cancer, treated with radiation alone, and those in the same category treated with adjuvant hormonal therapy as well as radiation.

Dr. Anderson also noted that those with the more aggressive prostate cancer who had surgery prior to radiation still did not do as well as those in the less aggressive cancer group when not given adjuvant hormonal therapy. "Those with the more aggressive cancers, not given hormonal therapy, had higher PSA levels after treatment than those in the less aggressive cancer group," she added.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, one of the nation's first comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute in 1974, conducts basic and clinical research; programs of prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and community outreach. For more information about Fox Chase activities, visit the Center's web site at

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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