July 24, 2014 07:37 ET

Prostate Cancer Hormone Therapy Falls Short for Older Men

A New Study Finds Hormone Therapy to Be an Ineffective Prostate Cancer Treatment for Older Men, Says Top Robotic Prostate Surgeon, David B. Samadi

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Jul 24, 2014) - Following an extensive review by researchers at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, hormone therapy was found to be ineffective in treating prostate cancer and in improving quality of life for older patients. This is the first long-term study to assess the use of Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT), or hormone therapy, as a single method of treatment in elderly men with localized prostate cancer.

While hormone therapy is generally considered to be more effective when used in conjunction with robotic prostate surgery or radiation therapy, it is sometimes recommended to older prostate cancer patients for whom surgery is not a viable option. Robotic prostate surgeon, David B. Samadi, MD, Chairman of Urology and Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, believes older men have more treatment options than they may realize.

"We continue to learn the shortcomings of hormone therapy," said Dr. Samadi. "For a large percentage of men, robotic prostate surgery is an option and may be the strongest choice. Even older men can achieve great prostate cancer recovery success with the right surgeon and medical institution."

Prostate cancer treatments such as Dr. Samadi's robotic SMART Surgery (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique) are designed to remove the prostate in a minimally invasive way, eliminating the cancer and preserving quality of life. In contrast, hormone therapy is a disease management approach that attempts to slow or shrink the prostate tumor by starving it of male hormones.

The side effects of hormone therapy are widely reported to include erectile dysfunction, kidney damage, and diabetes. Additionally, significant research links bone weakening and cancer treatment-induced bone loss to hormone therapy, conditions that are of high concern to elderly patients.

Rutgers University researchers reviewed more than 66,000 localized prostate cancer patients aged 66 and older, each of whom received only ADT in the first six months following diagnosis. At a median follow-up of nine years, researchers determined that ADT did not improve15-year overall survival or prostate cancer-specific survival when compared to patients undergoing no treatment at all.

"Sadly, these men may have lost valuable time. The minimally invasive nature of robotic prostate surgery enables a skilled surgeon to treat a wide range of prostate cancer patients at any age. Most men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer have options; they just need to get in front of the right specialists," said Dr. Samadi.

Dr. Samadi encourages men and their families to make shared treatment decisions with an experienced prostate cancer specialist, weighing potential benefits and side effects of each option in conjunction with overall medical standing.

The study results were published in the July 14 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine,

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