Prostate cancer is often very treatable when it's caught early, but in cases where it has spread (metastasis) outcomes are not as good. A study conducted at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City showed that an aggressive regimen of drugs, radiation, and surgery was effective in one-fifth of 20 patients enrolled in a study there. These patients all had metastatic disease, and five of the study participants had involvement in nodes outside the pelvic area. After 20 months of a combination of radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, four patients had no detectable disease, normal PSA, and normal blood testosterone. This is a very positive outcome for patients with this severity of disease, as it's not a group who would normally do this well.
The study showed that a multimodal approach to treating more advanced disease was more effective than choosing just one path to treatment. The researchers stressed that the study was small, and larger studies will have to be conducted to see if the results hold. In the meantime, there is new hope for patients who before this research may have given up on anything beyond palliative care.