Reporting Symptoms Online to Docs Helps Cancer Patients Live Longer

Overall, the 3-month regimen was associated with a less than 1% lower risk of recurrence compared with a 6-month course as measured by the 3-year disease-free survival (DFS) rate (74.6% vs. 75.5%, respectively).

Prostate cancer is the most common tumor in men, diagnosed in more than 161,000 Americans this year alone, according to the American Cancer Society. Median OS for patients in the self-reporting arm was 31.2 months versus 26.0 months in the standard care cohort, which, he said, equated to an nearly 20 percent increase in survival time for these patients.

But the research, unveiled at the American Society for Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago, found prescribing the drug abiraterone at the same time hugely improved the effectiveness of treatment.

"At first glance it appears as though the benefit and survival seen with abiraterone mirrors or exceeds the benefit we've seen with chemotherapy", with less toxic side effects, Pal said.

Basch said that the improvements in survival may seem modest, but it is greater than the effect of many targeted cancer drugs for metastatic cancer. "It's by far the largest prospective study conducted in the history of colorectal cancer research", said Grothey.

Researchers combined standard hormone therapy with a drug called abiraterone, which is typically used only for cancer patients whose disease has stopped responding to standard hormone therapy.

Prostate cancer cells usually depend on testosterone to grow.

Abiraterone, a pill taken once daily, blocks an enzyme that converts other hormones to testosterone, essentially halting production of testosterone throughout the body.

Chemotherapy drugs are administered to a patient at the North Carolina Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Thursday, May 25, 2017. Previous results from the trial have already changed clinical practice - data released a year ago has led to docetaxel chemotherapy now being part of the standard of care for many men with prostate cancer. High-risk was defined as meeting at least two of three criteria: (i) Gleason score ≥8, (ii) presence of ≥3 lesions on bone scan, (iii) presence of measurable visceral lesions.

At a median of 30 months after beginning treatment, men taking Zytiga and the steroid prednisone plus standard hormonal therapy had a 38 percent lower risk of death compared with men given hormone therapy and a placebo.

A clinical trial run by Cancer Research UK - believed to be the biggest cancer treatment trial in the world - has found that giving two therapies at once cuts disease progression and offers some patients the chance of a cure.

The studies, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, were funded by J&J. For now, this is not known, and the researchers are planning molecular analyses of tissue samples collected in the study to see if a subset of patients would benefit more from adding either docetaxel or abiraterone.

Participants in the self-report intervention arm (n = 441) completed online questionnaires in one of two ways.

A Mayo Clinic oncologist said the key side effect of oxaliplatin is nerve damage that may result in permanent numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands and feet even after the chemotherapy is discontinued.

During the International Duration Evaluation of Adjuvant Chemotherapy study, which included six clinical trials of almost 13,000 patients from 12 countries, patients received a shorter course of oaliplatin-based chemotherapy following surgery.

"We need to be cautious when using abiraterone in men who have an increased risk for heart problems, such as those with diabetes", said Fizazi.

Prof Nicholas James, from the University of Birmingham, who led the research, said: "These are the most powerful results I've seen from a prostate cancer trial - it's a once-in-a-career feeling".

Abiraterone costs about $5,000 a month, according to The New York Times. Chemohormonal Therapy in Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer.

The data for the study were pooled from these trials: SCOT in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Spain, Australia, Sweden, and New Zealand; TOSCA in Italy; Alliance/SWOG 80702 in the United States and Canada; IDEA France (GERCOR/PRODIGE) in France; ACHIEVE in Japan; and HORG in Greece. Subscriptions start as low as 25¢ per day. And our promise to you is that we will always strive to provide indispensable journalism to our community.

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