Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Localized prostate cancer rarely helped by hormone therapy

Medical castration to treat localized prostate tumors does not prolong survival and its side effects far outweigh any potential benefit for most patients, researchers reported today. The technique, which involves using drugs to block the body's production of the male hormone androgen, is a powerful tool when used in conjunction with surgery or radiation for treating aggressive prostate tumors.

"This study suggests that physicians who recommend hormonal therapy for localized tumors are not doing their patients any favors," said Dr. Howard M. Sandler, a radiation oncologist at the University of Michigan Medical School who spoke as a representative of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

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