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Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Demonstrates Significantly Improved Survival for Prostate Cancer Patients Treated With Goserelin

PHILADELPHIA, April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Prostate cancer patients live longer when given goserelin immediately following radiotherapy, according to a new long-term study by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), a clinical research component of the American College of Radiology (ACR). The publication in the April issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, details the ten-year results of a national multicenter clinical trial that enrolled nearly 1,000 patients with locally advanced prostate cancer. The RTOG study, one of the longest and largest studies of its type, concluded that administering goserelin following radiotherapy reduces the progression of prostate cancer and significantly improves survival.

"The RTOG results give increased hope to prostate cancer patients," comments Colleen Lawton, M.D. of the Medical College of Wisconsin and a co-author of the publication. "Men diagnosed with prostate cancer can now expect to live longer and live a life free from a recurrence of their disease."

The RTOG study showed that the chance of survival ten years after treatment was 10% higher for men who received goserelin immediately following their radiation therapy for locally advanced prostate cancer rather beginning hormonal therapy only upon tumor progression (49% vs. 39%). Likewise, local progression was reduced from 38% to 22% for men receiving adjuvant goserelin.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the United States with over 230,000 new cases expected this year and it is the second leading cause of death due to cancer. The RTOG study evaluated the effectiveness of administering goserelin to patients with prostate cancer treated with radiotherapy. Nearly one thousand (977) patients with locally advanced prostate cancer received either radiotherapy followed by monthly adjuvant goserelin 3.6 mg, or radiotherapy alone followed by observation and goserelin administration at relapse.

Goserelin, first introduced in 1987, is a Luteinising Hormone-Releasing Hormone agonist (LHRHa) which reduces levels of sex hormones (testosterone in men and oestradiol in women) and is used to treat prostate cancer in men and hormone-dependent breast cancer in pre- and peri-menopausal women.

Prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is the presence of cancer cells in the prostate gland. It is the most commonly diagnosed male cancer in the United States, and is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death. The prostate is a male sex gland that produces a thick fluid that forms part of semen. It is normally about the size of a walnut and is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Over 230,000 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year and of those, 30,000 are expected to die from their disease.

The manuscript, Androgen Suppression Adjuvant to Definitive Radiotherapy in Carcinoma of the Prostate - Long Term Results of Phase III RTOG 85-31, was published in the April 1, 2005 edition of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, vol. 61, pages 1285-1290. The independent study was coordinated by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), with participation from its member institutions. The National Cancer Institute provided financial support the study and AstraZeneca provided the study drug, Zoladex(R) for patients enrolled in the study.

Study authors include: Miljenko V. Pilepich, MD, from the University of California Los Angeles, Kathryn Winter, MS, from the American College of Radiology, Colleen A. Lawton, MD, from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Robert E. Krisch, from the University of Pennsylvania, Harvey B. Wolkov, MD, from Radiological Associates of Sacramento, Benjamin Movsas, MD, from Fox Chase Cancer Center, Eugen B. Hug, MD, from Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Sucha O. Asbell, MD, from Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, and David Grignon, MD, from Wayne State University.

Source: American College of Radiology

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