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Surgery may help advanced prostate cancer

Tuesday April 15th, 2014

Men with advanced and spreading prostate cancer may benefit from surgery, a conference was told yesterday.

Swedish researchers have been testing the benefits of giving these patients prostate removal as well as hormonal drug treatment.

It had been thought that surgery would achieve little when the cancer had spread from the prostate.

But, according to the Swedish study, surgery was linked to a 60% reduction in death rates.

The researchers at the Karolinska Institute reported their findings to the conference of the European Association of Urology in Stockholm, Sweden.

The researchers reached their findings from a study of 109,000 men treated for prostate cancer over a 14 year period in Sweden.

They found two groups of 700 men with advanced prostate cancer. One group had undergone surgery or radiotherapy while the second group was given hormonal treatment only. There were 231 deaths in the first group and 93 deaths in the second group.

Dr Prasanna Sooriakumaran, of the University of Oxford, UK, one of the researchers, said a controlled study is now needed to test the findings.

He said: "Currently, men with advanced prostate cancer are treated with hormonal therapy alone, and the median survival is around five years. A number of novel agents have been proposed in recent years, and these improve survival by months.

"Our research has the potential to improve survival outcomes by more than these novel treatments, and thus could represent a major advance in the field."

Fellow researcher Professor Peter Wiklund said: “What we are presenting here is not only new but highly controversial, and will represent a paradigm shift in our understanding and management of advanced prostate cancer.

"Should the improved survival that combined treatment shown in this study be a real effect, then this could revolutionise the management of advanced prostate cancer."

* A second study reported to the conference found that men with blood group O enjoyed a reduced risk of suffering recurrence of prostate cancer.

The Tokyo Medical University research, involving 555 patients, found these men were 35% less likely than those with blood group A to suffer cancer recurrence.

Tags: Cancer | Europe | Menís Health

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