A prostate cancer study that could change practice found that widely used hormone-blocking drugs did not improve survival chances for older men whose disease hadn’t spread.
In fact, men given the drugs alone were slightly more likely to die of prostate cancer during the next six years than men who’d gotten medical monitoring but no or delayed treatment, another common treatment approach.
The study involved nearly 20,000 Medicare patients with prostate cancer that hadn’t spread.
A surprising 41 percent got only drug treatment, in shots or implants, showing that the therapy has become a popular alternative to surgery and radiation[Radiation Therapy], the study authors said.
Other experts said the study gives doctors important information about how to treat older men with slow-growing disease that hasn’t spread beyond the prostate.
However, the study didn’t look at whether hormone-blocking drugs alone benefit younger men or compare that treatment with radiation or surgery.
Randomized studies have shown that the drugs can benefit men with more aggressive disease when used along with surgery or radiation.
But research is sparse on using hormone-blockers alone or in patients with localized cancer, like those in their study, the authors said.
Read more information at MSNBC