(HealthDay News) — For men with prostate cancer, treatment with irradiation is associated with lasting prostate cancer control, defined as a prostate-specific antigen cutoff of less than 0.2 ng/ml, with no recurrence seen from 15.5 to 25 years, according to a study published in the March issue of The Journal of Urology.

Frank A. Critz, M.D., of the Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia in Atlanta, and colleagues followed 3,546 consecutive hormone-naive men, treated with irradiation for prostate cancer (retropubic and later transperineal, followed by external beam radiation), from 1984 to 2000 (median follow-up, 11 years) to examine whether control of prostate cancer is durable.

The researchers found that the disease-free survival rate was 75 percent at 10 years and remained stable at 73 percent at 15, 20, and 25 years. The longest time to recurrence was 15.5 years. Late recurrence, defined as recurrence after 10-year follow-up, occurred in 5 percent of the 313 men with recurrences who were treated 16 to 25 years earlier. The 15-year disease-free survival rate was 79 percent for men implanted by the transperineal method since 1995.

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“With this irradiation program, cancer control, defined using the recurrence definition for radical prostatectomy, was durable with no further recurrence between 15.5 and 25 years of follow-up,” the authors write. “This study also suggests that at least 15 years of follow-up are necessary to fully evaluate any prostate cancer treatment.”

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