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Robot-Assisted Surgery For Prostate Cancer Controls The Disease For 10 Years, Study Finds

Update Date: Jul 17, 2014 10:14 AM EDT

Robot-assisted surgery to remove cancerous prostate glands can effectively control the disease for 10 years, according to a new study 

The study, led by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital, further suggested that traditional methods of measuring the severity and possible spread of the cancer together with molecular techniques might help create personalized and cost-effective treatment regimens for prostate cancer patients who undergo the surgical procedure. 

Findings of the study stand valid for men whose cancer has not spread beyond the prostate. 

"Until our analysis, there was little available information on the long-term oncologic outcomes for patients who undergo robot-assisted radical prostatectomy, or RARP," Mireya Diaz, Ph.D., Director of Biostatistics at the Henry Ford's Vattikuti Urology Institute (VUI) and lead author of the study, said in a press release.

"As one of the very first hospitals to establish a structured RARP program a little over a decade ago, we were able to determine the long-term effectiveness of the technique thanks to the continued feedback of our patients and the follow-up efforts of the VUI team," Dr. Diaz added.

The research considered 483 consecutive men who had cancer that had not spread outside the prostate and received RARP as their first treatment. In further analysis, researchers observed that the severity of the cancer after RARP was the best predictor of a recurrence. 

"Disease severity and postoperative PSA measurements can guide physicians in identifying the varying levels of cancer recurrence risk," Dr. Diaz explains. "This includes those patients who can best benefit from secondary treatment as well as long-term monitoring."

The study has been published in European Urology.

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