In a follow up to earlier website posts, British researchers have found that starting the chemotherapy drug docetaxel® at the same time as hormone therapy can improve survival for men with newly diagnosed, advanced prostate cancer. The full article describing the study was published in the Prostate Cancer Foundation June 1 issue of NewsPulse. Currently, chemotherapy is generally given after hormone therapy stops working. But the new study 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 had spread to other parts of their bodies — known as “metastatic” cancer. These men experienced an average 22-month improvement in their overall survival, the findings showed. Men treated with hormone therapy alone lived an average of 67 months. Those treated with docetaxel® and hormone therapy 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 hormone therapy together, compared with 43 months for men who received just hormone therapy, the investigators found. The chemotherapy drug appeared to benefit men by holding their cancer at bay. Docetaxel® extended the time to relapse by 38 percent in all patients. Hormone therapy can cause fatigue, anemia, brittle bones, decreased muscle mass and loss of sexual function, while chemotherapy drugs open the body to a host of debilitating side effects. But the researchers noted that the addition of chemotherapy to hormone therapy in this study was well-tolerated. Very few men dropped out due to side effects from the chemotherapy, they added. The researchers state that is hoped that these findings will encourage doctors to offer docetaxel® to men newly diagnosed with metastatic cancer.
Similar studies have been discussed in the website posts dated June 9th and May 14th, 2015.