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Dr. Matthew Cooperberg on Surgery for Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Matthew Cooperberg, MD
Published Online:8:56 PM, Fri March 18, 2016

"For high-risk prostate cancer, we're behind a lot of other solid tumors. When you think about how aggressive breast cancer is managed, rectal cancer, gastric cancer, the answer is yes – you get surgery, radiation therapy, and systemic therapy. We're probably quite a bit behind the curve in still having these debates."

- Matthew Cooperberg, MD

Matthew Cooperberg, MD, genitourinary cancer specialist, University of California San Francisco, discusses the rise in aggressive management of men with high-risk prostate cancer. Cooperberg says the proportion of men who are receiving hormonal therapy alone had been rising consistently over the course of a 15 year period, up until 2010, to about 50%. Since then, Cooperberg says that number has dropped to about half of what it was, or 25%, which is attributed to more aggressive treatment.

Cooperberg says local therapy for men with high-risk prostate cancer was normally radiotherapy, with surgery not being nearly as common. He adds that a growing body of evidence dictates that surgery in prostate cancer may be a more effective local therapy than radiation alone. According to the body of evidence, cancer-related survival and overall survival were normally boosted when surgery was involved for these patients.
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