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Research reports improvements in survival rates in patients with metastatic prostate cancer

Researcher reports improvements in survival rates in patients with metastatic prostate cancer
Median Overall Survival (OS) of De Novo Metastatic Prostate Cancer in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results 17 (SEER) and Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Registries. Credit: JAMA Network Open (2024). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.1970

Research from Saint Louis University School of Medicine finds improvements in survival in both veterans and men across the country over the last 20 years in metastatic prostate cancer, which correlate with new hormonal treatments.

Martin Schoen, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and a member of the Saint Louis University AHEAD Institute, quantified trends in overall survival among men newly diagnosed with and has revealed his findings in a recent research letter in JAMA Network Open.

Metastatic prostate cancer accounts for 5–10% of all prostate cancer diagnoses, but it is responsible for nearly 50% of prostate cancer-related deaths. Since 2015, the prognosis of metastatic prostate cancer has improved with the introduction of new hormonal treatment and chemotherapy combined with androgen deprivation therapy in the first-line setting.

"In the last 10 years, several new therapies have been created that have made a dramatic impact in clinical trials," said Schoen, lead author of the study. "We wanted to study this in the general population to assess whether these breakthroughs were making its way to them."

The study reviewed two national datasets to identify the health outcomes of men with prostate cancer, one of the most common cancers in veterans. The cross-sectional retrospective study included first diagnosed with prostate cancer between the years 2000-2019. Schoen and his team analyzed datasets of 58,859 men from SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results) and 14,904 men from the Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry (VACCR).

The SEER Program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) collects and publishes cancer incidence and survival data from population-based cancer registries covering about 48% of the U.S. population. The VACCR collects cancer diagnosis and treatment information from the 132 VA Medical Centers that treat veterans with cancer.

The study focused on the survival of men in different age groups. Schoen and the research team found that the in patients younger than 70 significantly improved in the U.S. population from 2000 to 2019. Still, there was little change in men over 70 during the same period.

The study also found that overall survival rates were similar in SEER and VHA. Schoen, a Navy veteran who works as a hematologist/oncologist at St. Louis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said he was pleased the data showed that in prostate cancer care, veteran care is as good or better than the treatment men receive in the general community.

The study notes that while new treatments are available and increased overall survival has been observed in clinical trials, researchers cannot assume these developments improve disease management in clinical practice. The overall survival of men with metastatic is lower in than in , as patients are typically older with more health conditions.

Researchers say further study is needed as the study is limited by lack of data on men with other medical problems, such as heart disease or diabetes.

More information: Martin W. Schoen et al, Survival in Patients With De Novo Metastatic Prostate Cancer, JAMA Network Open (2024). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.1970

Journal information: JAMA Network Open
Citation: Research reports improvements in survival rates in patients with metastatic prostate cancer (2024, June 20) retrieved 14 July 2024 from
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