Study: More radiotherapy can cut mortality risk in half

Researchers have found patients with high-risk prostate cancer who are treated with a high portion of radical local treatment (radiotherapy or prostatectomy) have half the mortality risk of those who were treated with the lowest proportion.

Analyzing data from the National Prostate Cancer Register, researchers studied the relationship between radical local treatments and mortality rates in men with high-risk prostate cancer. Results found that those patients treated with the highest proportion of radical treatment were half as likely to die from prostate cancer than those treated with the least amount of radical local therapy.

"The results suggest that the combination of thorough examination and subsequent radical local therapy can prolong life for men with very high-risk prostate cancer," said Pär Stattin, a researcher at the Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences who led the study. "Our data suggests that there are benefits of radical local therapy for men with very advanced forms of prostate cancer. However, these men most often only receive hormonal treatment. To confirm our findings and hopefully to improve treatment praxis, there is a need for a randomized study of the effects of local radical therapy on patients with very high-risk prostate cancer.”

This study, however, was an observational study, meaning the potential effects of high intensity diagnostics could not be isolated from therapeutic activity.