Dual therapy means that patients receive standard hormone therapy, called GnRH therapy, as well as chemotherapy or androgen receptor blockers.
Research has previously been able to show that men who receive this treatment live approximately one year longer than patients who receive only hormone therapy.
– Dual therapy for men with newly metastatic prostate cancer in Sweden has been gradually introduced following the results of randomized studies, and dual therapy is now recommended in the National Prostate Cancer Care Programme. We wanted to see if a change in treatment for these patients was followed by an increase in survival, says researcher Markus Westerberg of Uppsala University.
Survival increases by about six months
Using the National Prostate Cancer Registry, researchers examined all men diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer in Sweden between 2008 and 2020.
The results showed that in 2016, only one percent of all men at this stage received dual therapy, while 40 percent did in 2020. The largest increase occurred among men under 65 years of age. The increase was smaller among men over 80 years of age.
The study also shows that the average survival rate among these men increased from 2.7 years between 2008 and 2012 to 3.2 years in 2017-2020. This corresponds to approximately half a year.
Related to new treatment
The survival rate increased most among men younger than 80 years. In the analysis, the researchers also took into account age and other diseases.
Although caution must be taken when interpreting our results, we found a clear temporal relationship between the introduction of dual therapy and improved survival. The study indicates that a treatment that gave good results in randomized studies also gives results at the population level when introduced into routine health care, says Markus Westerberg.
The study was conducted by researchers at Uppsala University and San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy.
Facts about the National Prostate Cancer Registry
The National Prostate Cancer Registry (NPCR) was established in 1998 and covers about 95 percent of all new prostate cancer cases. The information contains a detailed description of the disease, the treatment the man received, in which hospital and which doctor performed the operation. The ultimate goal of NPCR activities is for all men with prostate cancer to receive the right treatment at the right time, regardless of where they live.
Marcus Westerberg, Researcher at the Department of Surgical Sciences, Uppsala University, [email protected]
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