For men who have received positive PSA tests, a combination of androgen deprivation therapy and radiation may significantly improve their chances of beating the disease, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The researchers who conducted the study said that PSA testing has drastically improved doctors' ability to detect prostate cancer early. While this is an important breakthrough, it has raised the question of how best to treat men with early-stage prostate cancer.
For the study, researchers from Radiation Therapy Oncology Group followed the medical records of just under 2,000 men with low- to intermediate-risk prostate cancer for a period of nine years. The results showed that individuals who received short-term hormone therapy followed by a lengthier treatment of radiation were significantly less likely to die from prostate cancer.
The researchers said that their findings could play an important role in guiding the direction of early-stage prostate cancer treatments. In addition to improving outcomes, this could help make sure that healthcare resources are distributed in the most effective way possible.