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Prostate Cancer News
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(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Two studies presented at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City this week highlight promising research for prostate cancer patients.

In the first study, researchers from Canada randomized 936 prostate cancer patients to receive the standard 6.5-week schedule of radiation therapy or a higher dose of radiation for only four weeks. Results show around 53 percent of those who received the standard long treatment schedule had a positive biopsy two years after treatment. In the short treatment group, nearly 51 percent had a positive biopsy. The overall survival rate after five years was 85.7 percent in the long treatment group and 88.3 percent in the short treatment group. However, of the 460 PSA failures, 216 were in the long treatment group and 244 were in the short treatment group. Researchers say the PSA failure rate is 7-percent higher in the short treatment group and they cannot exclude that a shorter treatment is inferior to the standard long treatment.

A second study also presented at the conference shows Viagra provides long term help for prostate cancer patients with erectile dysfunction. Researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center followed 363 prostate cancer patients who received 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy and brachytherapy. Patients were followed for four years. They had normal erectile function before therapy and all had some degree of erectile dysfunction after.

Results show Viagra successfully treated erectile dysfunction in 75 percent of patients. Among that 75 percent, 96 percent have continued to use Viagra and say the medication is effective four years later. Michael Zelefsky, M.D., from Memorial Sloan-Kettering, says: "The good news for men facing therapy for prostate cancer is that Viagra does not seem to lose its effectiveness over time. As more younger patients opt for non-surgical approaches, ED is obviously an important issue."

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

SOURCE: American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, October 19-23, 2003

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