Research at Sutter Health Shows New Treatment Approach Improves Survival, Reduces Metastasis in High-Risk Prostate Cancer

Posted on Mar 20, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Research, Scroll Images, Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, Sutter Medical Foundation

SAN FRANCISCO – Prostate cancer impacts one in every nine men in the U.S. Although death rates from the disease have declined over the last two decades, over 25,000 men die from prostate cancer annually.

Docetaxel, a chemotherapy drug commonly used to treat other types of cancer, has improved overall survival with limited toxicity in men whose prostate cancers have metastasized and who are no longer sensitive to androgen suppression therapy (i.e., patients are hormone resistant).

Researchers at Sutter Health and other leading centers across the U.S. and Canada hypothesized that adding docetaxel to standard therapy could potentially improve overall survival and other clinical outcomes in men with localized, high-risk prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer impacts one in every nine men in the U.S. Although death rates from the disease have declined over the last two decades, over 25,000 men die from prostate cancer annually.

Seth Rosenthal, MD

“While advances have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer at all stages of disease, there is still room for improvement in the group of men who are diagnosed with aggressive cancers,” says Seth A. Rosenthal, MD, FACR, FASTRO, a Sutter Medical Group/Sutter Cancer Center radiation oncologist and Sutter Cancer Research Consortium (SCRC) clinician-investigator. For patients at high risk of the disease whose cancer is localized to the prostate, one standard treatment has been radiation therapy and long-term androgen suppression.

Docetaxel, a chemotherapy drug commonly used to treat other types of cancer, has improved overall survival with limited toxicity in men whose prostate cancers have metastasized and who are no longer sensitive to androgen suppression therapy (i.e., patients are hormone resistant).

Researchers at Sutter Health and other leading centers across the U.S. and Canada hypothesized that adding docetaxel to standard therapy could potentially improve overall survival and other clinical outcomes in men with localized, high-risk prostate cancer.

Results of the multicenter, phase III NRG Oncology 0521 study were published online last week in the leading medical oncology Journal of Clinical Oncology. The primary endpoint was overall survival; secondary endpoints included freedom from distant metastases, disease-free survival, and adverse events.

Patients were randomly assigned to receive standard long-term androgen suppression therapy plus radiation therapy with or without adjuvant docetaxel following an initial period of androgen suppression and radiotherapy.

The addition of docetaxel to androgen suppression therapy and radiotherapy improved overall survival from 89% to 93% after four years following randomization (p= 0.034). There was also an improvement in disease-free survival and reduced rates of distant metastases, meaning less likelihood of disease recurrence or progression.

“Our results suggest that adding docetaxel to standard treatment with androgen suppression therapy and radiotherapy may be a suitable treatment option for men with high-risk prostate cancer that has not metastasized. Although more follow-up is needed, healthcare providers may consider discussing this treatment approach with patients who can tolerate chemotherapy,” says Dr. Rosenthal, lead author of the NRG Oncology 0521 study.

Of the 563 evaluable patients in the study, treatment was well-tolerated in both study groups.

The study was supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Sanofi.

About Sutter Health Research
Research is an integral component of Sutter Health’s approach to improving the wellness of our patients and communities. Inquiry and discovery at Sutter Health today are the improved health outcomes of tomorrow—for our patients, for our healthcare systems.

The Sutter Cancer Research Consortium (SCRC) opened NRG-RTOG 0521, and contributed many patients to this national clinical trial which led to these positive study results.  

Transformative care:

  • Sutter Health is a recognized leader in clinical research, and has integrated oncology research and clinical trials across its Northern California affiliate medical centers.
  • The SCRC provides a robust clinical trials portfolio and enhanced clinical expertise among Sutter Health affiliates.
  • By simplifying the process for patient entry into treatment trials, Sutter Health research consortia investigators can enroll patients from anywhere in Northern California. We participate in many nationwide clinical studies sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and other NIH institutes, foundations and philanthropic groups, and the pharmaceutical industry.
  • The SCRC is recognized by the NCI as one of its top clinical trials entities, and is one of the highest enrolling, non-academic clinical trials programs in the U.S. to NCI sponsored clinical trials.

Innovation:

  • Through research, Dr. Rosenthal and other Sutter Health investigators are helping change clinical practice and transforming early-stage ideas into new approaches to treat cancer.

Learn more about Dr. Rosenthal’s clinical research expertise

Review Sutter’s portfolio of research and clinical trials

 

 

Posted by on Mar 20, 2019 in Affiliates, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Innovation, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Research, Scroll Images, Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, Sutter Medical Foundation | Comments Off on Research at Sutter Health Shows New Treatment Approach Improves Survival, Reduces Metastasis in High-Risk Prostate Cancer