Impact of hormonal therapy on survival and racial disparities in a large community-based cohort of older men with local/regional prostate cancer

Laurens Holmes, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Prostate cancer (CaP) is the most diagnosed non-cutaneous malignancy and the second leading cause of cancer mortality among United States males. Major racial disparities in incidence, survival, as well as treatment persist. The mortality is three times higher among African Americans (AAs) compared with Caucasians. Androgen carcinogenesis has been persistently implicated but results are inconsistent; and hormone manipulation has been the main stay of treatment for metastatic disease, supportive of the androgen carcinogenesis. The survival disadvantage of AAs has been attributed to the differences in socioeconomic factors (SES), tumor stage, and treatment. We hypostasized that HT prolongs survival in CaP and that the racial disparities in survival is influenced by variation in HT and primary therapies as well as SES. To address these overall hypothesis, we first utilized a random-effect meta-analytic design to examine evidence from randomized trials on the efficacy of androgen deprivation therapy in localized and metastatic disease, and assessed, using Cox proportional hazards models, the effectiveness of HT in prolonging survival in a large community-based cohort of older males diagnosed with local/regional CaP. Further we examined the role of HT and primary therapies on the racial disparities in CaP survival. The results indicated that adjuvant HT compared with standard care alone is efficacious in improving overall survival, whereas HT has no significant benefit in the real world experience in increasing the overall survival of older males in the community treated for local/regional disease. Further, racial differences in survival persist and were explained to some extent by the differences in the primary therapies (radical prostatectomy, radiation and watchful waiting) and largely by SES. Therefore, given the increased used of hormonal therapy and the cost-effectiveness today, more RCTs are needed to assess whether or not survival prolongation translates to improved quality of life, and to answer the research question on whether or not the decreased use of radical prostatectomy by AAs is driven by the Clinicians bias or AAs's preference of conservative therapy and to encourage AAs to seek curative therapies, thus narrowing to some degree the persistent mortality disparities between AAs and Caucasians.

Subject Area

Public health|Oncology

Recommended Citation

Holmes, Laurens, "Impact of hormonal therapy on survival and racial disparities in a large community-based cohort of older men with local/regional prostate cancer" (2006). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3241395.