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Bone metastatic treatment efficacy varies with man's marital status

Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) trial findings suggest that treatment for prostate cancer bone metastases may be less effective in single than married men.

Previous RTOG results have indicated that men who are married or live with a partner have better local control and overall survival from head and neck cancer than single men but that this effect does not occur in female patients.

To investigate further, Andre Konski (Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA) and colleagues analyzed data from the RTOG 97-14 trial that was designed to compare the efficacy of 8 Gy in one fraction with 30 Gy in 10 fractions in patients with symptomatic bone metastases from prostate or breast cancer.

Overall, women and men who received a total of 8-Gy radiotherapy needed repeat treatment and significantly sooner than those who received the 30 Gy dose, the team reported at the annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, held this week in Denver, Colorado.