Research Questions Prostate Cancer Care

July 15, 2014

A front page article in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer reports on two new prostate cancer studies in JAMA Internal Medicine finding that many low-risk patients receive more treatment than is needed or helpful – racking up millions of dollars in excess costs and, potentially, causing more physical harm than good. One example is hormone therapy, or ADT, as the main treatment in patients in which cancer cells have not spread. “It really is not a benign treatment,” said Alan J. Wein, MD, Founders Professor and chief of Urology, who was not involved in the studies. “Androgen-deprivation therapy is palliative, not curative.” For patients with advanced disease, it can be very effective in relieving symptoms and shrinking the cancer. “But ADT also has been associated with thinning of the bones, weight gain, decreased muscle tone, the appearance of diabetes, and perhaps deep venous thrombosis,” Wein said.

Philadelphia Inquirer article