Using hormone therapy along with radiation for certain types of aggressive or metastatic prostate cancer can slow the cancer’s growth and improve survival and quality of life, according to research presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology annual meeting in November of 2022.
That’s good news for patients with oligometastatic prostate cancer – or prostate cancer with five or fewer metastatic sites, which means the cancer is in a transitional stage from localized to widespread.
The findings presented were from a phase 2 extended study looking at hormone treatment alone and hormone treatment along with radiation.
“The effect of radiation therapy in extending PFS (progression-free survival) was very large,” according to lead author Chad Tang, MD, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. “Many patients who received radiation therapy and hormone therapy continue to be free of all evidence of disease at last follow-up despite being off hormone therapy for many years. The effect of radiation therapy in extending PFS also seemed to hold across subgroups.”
While more studies may be needed and as studies continue to explore the benefits of using both modalities at the same time, it is already being done in practice. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation hormone therapy is often given in tandem with radiation for localized prostate cancer,
“Clinical trials show a benefit in patients who receive hormonal treatment in combination with external beam radiation,” states the Prostate Cancer Foundation website.
Prostate Cancer Hormonal Therapy
In their early development, prostate cancers need androgens – male sex hormones – to grow, according to the National Cancer Institute. Hormone therapy lowers androgen levels or blocks its production, which in turn, slows the cancer growth.
Hormone therapies can reduce androgen production in the testicles, block androgens from acting throughout the body and block their production.
The most common hormone therapy for men with prostate cancer is the treatment to lower androgen production in the testicles with medication – like monthly shots or daily pills – and sometimes with a surgical procedure to remove one or both testicles.
Side effects of hormone therapy for prostate cancer include a lower libido, erectile dysfunction, hot flashes, loss of bone density, weight gain, mood swings, fatigue, and insulin resistance.
However, there are medications and lifestyle changes, like diet and exercise, which can reduce the side effects.
And if the combination of hormone treatment and external beam radiation can improve your outcome, it’s worth talking to your doctor about or setting up a consultation with the experts at the CyberKnife Center of Miami, who specialize in treating prostate cancer with a specific type of external beam radiation called stereotactic body radiation therapy or SBRT.
CyberKnife for Prostate Cancer
Since the prostate is close to several vital organs, traditional treatment for prostate cancer can be life-altering. CyberKnife has some distinct advantages over other forms of radiation for prostate cancer because it can destroy prostate tumors with precision leaving the surrounding healthy tissue alone. Here are those advantages.
- It is noninvasive.
- There is no anesthesia or cutting.
- Clinical experience shows most patients do well with CyberKnife treatment, with cure rates of more than 98% for more than a decade.
- It does not come with the risks of surgery like infection and extended periods of downtime.
- CyberKnife treatments can be completed in five therapy sessions over 10 days instead of 42 over three months with other types of radiation treatments.
- The CyberKnife radiation beams, which target and destroy the tumor, are exceedingly precise.
- There is less risk of side effects including impotence and incontinence.
If you are curious what treatment will look like – check out our time-lapse video showing treatment for prostate cancer at CyberKnife Miami.
The CyberKnife Miami Advantage
At CyberKnife Miami, we have successfully treated hundreds of prostate cancer patients from across the country, the Caribbean, the world and right here in South Florida with excellent results. Our goal is to partner with you through your treatment journey and make sure you are as comfortable as possible.
We treat prostate cancer faster, better, safer, and effectively.
If you would like to find out more about prostate cancer treatment with CyberKnife, call us at 305-279-2900 or go to our prostate cancer website now for more information.