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ASCO: Docetaxel With Hormone Tx May Improve Outcomes

Combination with hormone therapy can extend life by almost a year for prostate cancer patients

FRIDAY, May 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Giving docetaxel at the same time as hormone therapy (HT) can improve survival for men with newly diagnosed, advanced prostate cancer, according to new research. The study is scheduled for presentation May 30 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, to be held from May 29 to June 2 in Chicago.

The researchers found that when the two therapies were paired at the start of treatment, patients lived an average of 10 months longer. The combination had even greater benefits for men whose prostate cancer was metastatic. These men experienced an average 22-month improvement in their overall survival. “We hope our findings will encourage doctors to offer docetaxel to men newly diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer, if they are healthy enough for chemotherapy,” lead author Nicholas James, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Cancer Research Unit at the University of Warwick in Coventry, U.K., told HealthDay.

The study was named STAMPEDE, for Systemic Therapy in Advancing or Metastatic Prostate Cancer: Evaluation of Drug Efficacy. Since 2005, researchers have recruited nearly 3,000 prostate cancer patients who’d never had HT before. About three out of five men in the study had prostate cancer that had spread to other parts of their bodies, while the rest had high-risk, advanced prostate cancer that had not yet spread. The men entered one of four treatment regimens. They all were given three years of HT. One group only received the HT. Another group was given docetaxel in addition to the HT. The third group got zoledronic acid. The last group received HT, docetaxel, and zoledronic acid. In addition, men who were candidates for radiation therapy in any of the groups also received that treatment.

After an average follow-up of 42 months, 948 men in the trial had died, the researchers reported. Men treated with HT alone lived an average of 67 months. Those treated with docetaxel and HT ended up surviving an average of 77 months, a relative improvement of 24 percent. Those with invasive prostate cancer survived an average 65 months when they received docetaxel and HT together, compared with 43 months for men who received just HT, the investigators found.

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