Oregon Health and Science UniversityThis news may be a useful insight for prostate cancer patients. A research conducted in the Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute and the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center has claimed that a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy received prior to prostate removal is apparently harmless and may have the possibility to diminish cancer recurrence and enhance patient survival.

Preceding clinical trials investigating the outcome of either hormonal therapy or chemotherapy before surgery have supposedly displayed little if any advantage over prostate removal alone.

The utilization of multimodality therapy i.e. combined radiation, chemotherapy and surgery has apparently resulted in better outcomes in a number of cancers, but has not yet been studied in prostate cancer.

“In men with aggressive prostate cancer, standard therapies such as radiation or surgery often fail to eliminate the cancer completely at the site of treatment. When these cancers recur, they are often fatal,” commented, Mark Garzotto, M.D., principal investigator and Associate Professor of Urology and Radiation Medicine in the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute; and Chief of Urologic Oncology in the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

This research observed whether radiation therapy and chemotherapy administered prior to surgery could be feasible, harmless, and, eventually, capable of averting cancer recurrences. To reply to these questions, Garzotto and colleagues created a treatment regimen in which radiation and docetaxel were administered jointly prior to prostatectomy.

Around 12 suitable subjects were enlisted in the study between April 2006 and March 2008. The men received intensity-modulated radiation therapy and augmented doses of docetaxel for five successive weeks, which was apparently followed by surgical elimination of the prostate gland.

The participants endured the treatment well and were apparently able to go through surgery with no chief problems, which was a possible worry in this trial. Particularly, it was seen that there were no rectal or ureteral injuries or blood clots in the legs. Assessment of the tumor tissue post surgery apparently revealed the cancer margins, supposed proof of absolute elimination of all of the cancer, to be clean in about 75% of patients, which was higher than anticipated. Also, the PSA, or prostate-specific antigen levels, a forecaster of prostate cancer recurrence, were said to be untraceable post treatment in all patients.

Arthur Hung, M.D., co-investigator and Assistant Professor of Radiation Medicine in the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, mentioned, “Our study is the first-ever clinical trial in prostate cancer to combine radiation, chemotherapy and surgery given as a combination treatment before prostate surgery to potentially provide higher cure rates than traditional approaches with fewer side effects.”

The researchers concluded that this chemo-radiation combination could be viable and harmless and may probably decrease cancer recurrence rates in this high-risk population. They also mentioned the growth of this method now unlocks the door to the study of other drugs in combination with radiation.

The findings were presented at the 51st annual meeting of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology in Chicago.