New prostate cancer research 'could help change clinical practice'

6 September 2012

New medical research has found that stop-start hormone therapy could help men to improve their battle against prostate cancer.

An international study of almost 1,400 males for whom treatment with radiotherapy had not proven a success for fighting off the disease, highlighted the potential benefits of intermittent over continuous therapy.

Results showed that such therapy did not limit the chance of survival, though side-effects were reduced and men usually gained an improved quality of life.

On top of this, there were fewer urinary problems and hot flushes recorded in males who opted for stop-start hormone treatment, as well as improved libido and erectile function.

Professor David Dearnaley, from the Institute of Cancer Research and the UK's chief investigator of the study, commented: "This large-scale trial has shown that periodically stopping men's hormone therapy can give them fewer side-effects without reducing their chance of survival, and should lead to a change in clinical practice."

According to Cancer Research UK, more than 40,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009 alone.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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