Survival Rate Determined By the Site Affected By Prostate Cancer

The site or region where prostate cancer spreads to influences the survival rate of the victim, findings from one of the largest cancer studies reveal.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in America and currently affects about 2.8 million people. Approximately 180,000 people will be diagnosed with the disease by the end of this year with 27,000 dying from it. This is according to statistics from the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Researchers based at the Duke Cancer Institute in collaboration with others from leading cancer centers worldwide recently published a report that suggests that the region where the cancer spreads has direct relationship with the rate of survival.

cancer prostateAccording to their findings, the victim will have a higher chance for survival if the growth spreads to certain regions while the survival rate will be lower in case it affects other regions. The scientists identified four main sites of metastases which are liver, lung, lymph nodes, and bone.

Susan Halabi, Ph.D., lead author and professor of biostatistics at Duke University said that they were aware that the site of metastasis influenced the survival rate. However, the clinical trials and studies were done in small-scale hence it was not easy to determine the exact relationship between the site of metastasis and rate of survival

In the report contained in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, it is indicated that patients with liver-only metastasis had the lowest rate of survival while those with lymph-only metastasis had the longest survival. The survival rate in patients with bone and lung metastasis was said to be average.

Halabi and other researchers studied a group of 8,736 men who had metastatic cancer of the prostate and had already undergone chemotherapy using a popular drug known as docetaxel. They also relied on data pulled from nine large clinical trials from the University of Duke as well as leading cancer research centers in the US and beyond.

The experiment showed that the largest group had metastases of the bone and accounted for 73% with their average rate of survival being about 21 months. The smallest subset was 6.4% and the victims had lymph metastasis and had the longest survival rate of approximately 32 months.

Liver metastasis was present in 8.6 percent of the men and had the lowest median survival of 14 months while those with lung metastases accounted for 9.1% of the population and their median rate of survival was 19 months.

Professor Halabi believes that this information is vital in finding an effective cure for prostate cancer and sets the basis on how to use chemotherapy or hormonal therapy to treat the disease. She further states that more research is needed to know the impact of the metastasis and how best to deal with it.