A new clinical study into recovery and follow-up procedures after undergoing radical prostatectomy has shown an increase in survival rates for the 5 years following the surgery.
Treatment Through Removal
Radical prostatectomy, or RP, is a common treatment method for prostate cancer. As it involves completely removing the prostate gland and some surrounding tissue, it’s ideal in cases of prostate cancer that have not reached metastasis, though this can be hard to detect up until after the tumor is removed in its entirety.
As a result, sometimes RP is followed up with radiation therapy or other treatments meant to increase biochemical disease-free survival rates. Researchers are always looking for ways to increase these survival rates, and a group of scientists has recently published their findings regarding a new set of procedures in the journal Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases that have been successful in accomplishing just that.
An Adjuvant Approach
The researchers investigated the efficiency of an adjuvant approach that involved a three-pronged approach: pelvic lymph node irradiation therapy, increased radiation therapy doses to the pelvic bed, and hormone therapy. The combined approach is referred to as combined-intensified-modulated-adjuvant treatment, or CIMA, and findings have been promising.
The European research study followed 123 men under the age of 80 that had undergone radical prostatectomy and were yet to receive adjuvant therapy of any kind. The results of the study were quite positive; CIMA-based treatment plans resulted in a 5-year survival rate of 92.9 percent, which was significantly higher than the 74 percent survival rate reported by a nearly 23,000-patient clinical study conducted by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer that only relied upon standard radiation therapy.
More Research Needed
A major uptick in 5-year survival rates is nothing to sneeze at. However, there will be more research needed to fine-tune this new CIMA approach when it comes to selecting patients that will respond well to adjuvant therapies. The scientists made this point explicitly in their research paper. Despite this limitation, this research certainly makes a strong point for more targeted adjuvant treatment options for patients who have undergone RP to remove a prostate tumor.