Is hormone therapy useful with surgery or radiation treatment?

Expert Opinion published on January 13, 2012 in Treatment
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Donald L. Trump, MD, FACP
President and Chief Executive Officer
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Buffalo, New York
Is hormone therapy useful with surgery or radiation treatment?

In many cancers at the time of diagnosis, multiple kinds of treatment are used. Breast cancer is perhaps the best example, wherein a woman may have local treatment to the lump in the breast as well as chemotherapy and even hormone therapy with drugs such as tamoxifen, drugs that counteract estrogen’s effect. It is not as clear that those multiple approaches in men with prostate cancer are advantageous except in a few situations where we do have good evidence that the reduction in male hormone levels that can be achieved by so-called anti-androgen treatments or androgen deprivation treatments are associated with improved overall outcome. The best examples of this are when men who receive radiation therapy for large tumors, or relatively large tumors in the prostate, are treated with radiation therapy and hormone therapy or androgen deprivation, the outcome, survival, quality of survival, is clearly superior than those men who receive radiation therapy alone. So your physician may recommend the use of androgen deprivation or hormone therapy in combination with radiation, and there are data to indicate that in properly selected circumstances, that does yield superior outcome.

Last modified: February 7, 2012
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