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Study gives surgery nod in prostate care

Study gives surgery nod in prostate care
Photo: Study gives surgery nod in prostate care
UK research has shown that, in general, surgery results in better mortality rates than radiotherapy for prostate cancer patients.

Prostate cancer patients are more likely to survive if they undergo surgery rather than radiation, a study found.

The research, which has been published in the peer-reviewed journal European Urology, constituted the "most robust" analysis to date comparing surgery and radiotherapy outcomes for localised prostate cancer patients.

Author Dr Robert Nam, of the University of Toronto's Sunnybrook Research Institute, said: "In general, surgery results in better mortality rates than radiotherapy."
He added: "Nevertheless, there are times when radiotherapy may be more appropriate than surgery, so it is important that a patient discusses treatment options with his clinician."

In the past, comparisons of success rates were confusing due to their methods, Dr Nam said.

The new research consisted of a meta-analysis, or "study of studies", of 19 studies and over 118,000 patients who underwent either form of treatment.

Researchers found patients treated with radiation were twice as likely to die as those who had surgery. This conclusion was reached after comparing 15 studies.

Chairman of the European Association of Urology Prostate Guideline Panel, Dr Nicholas Mottet, said the research deserved attention because it was based on the best available data.

But he also warned: "Definitive proof needs a large well-conducted randomised control trial, such as the upcoming PROTECT trial which is due to report next year.

"So we certainly need to take this analysis into account, but it doesn't yet give us a definitive answer as to the best treatment.

"Although this paper should not change clinical practice, I agree with the authors, this analysis gives us important, additional information".

Localised prostate cancer accounts for 80% of prostate cancers. About 400,000 men are diagnosed with it every year in Europe.

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