Hard choices are always a part of cancer. Some choices are worse then others. Making a decision with limited data can feel like picking a name out of a hat. And of course you never want to do something like that. Especially when dealing with cancer. But sadly many cancer treatments force you to do just that. Timing of endocrine therapy for prostate cancer has always been debated. Can early implementation increase overall survival? Who benefits from it the most? Can early Bicalutamide be beneficial? Lack of data made those questions hard to answer.
Bicalutamide Improves Survival.
Trial results just released shows Bicalutamide does improve overall survival. Bicalutamide is a non-steroidal anti-androgen. It basically works by blocking the effect of androgen. Androgen is a male hormone that can stimulate cancer cells. But remember not all prostate cancer is hormone sensitive.
This study was a randomized, double-blind, parallel-group trial. Only patients with Hormone-naive and non-metastatic prostate cancer were included. A total of 1218 patients were followed throughout a median 14.6 year period. 607 patients were given 150mg of bicalutamide once daily in addition to standard care. 611 patients were given placebo. Survival gain was noted to only be apparent in patients with a PSA greater then 28ng/ml. Early bicalutamide did not have survival impact for patients with low PSA. Study concluded that Optimal timing for Bicalutamide in non-metastatic Prostate cancer is dependent on PSA and Stage of disease.
After reading all that you can tell this isn’t front page news. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s less important. Like I said before, most cancer decisions are hard. The data from this study can now make your decision less stressful. Now there is clearly an advantage depending on what type of prostate cancer you have. Even negative data from this trial can help you avoid mistakes. Any data is good data. As long as it’s credible.
Trial Gives Accurate Data.
The trial is pretty solid. I say this because of two things. First, the study included a large number of patients. Sometimes when a study only includes a small number the results can be somewhat inaccurate. Second, the follow-up period is very long. The longer the better. More time. + more data. = improved accuracy. Studies and trials like this today provide more options for patients tomorrow. I hope this trial can now give you the extra information you need to make the best decision.