Understanding the “16 Year Results”
Regardless of what you might read or have heard elsewhere, the Dattoli Cancer Center indeed has the longest published prostate cancer success rates anywhere in the world’s medical literature. In fact, not all treatment centers actually track and publish success rates. This is because the data management function is tedious, expensive and requires a long-term commitment. In addition, the process of writing and submitting abstracts and manuscripts to prestigious medical journals is arduous and can take as long as 12 months or more to gain approval from the peer review editorial boards. Therefore, what you read in a legitimate medical journal has usually been analyzed to the “nth” degree before publication, while claims in brochures or on the internet are not required to be proven in any way.
One common misconception of data (including our own) is that the length of time reported (16 years) means that this the longest time a patient could expect to survive the treatment. Not true! 16 years is merely the longest anyone has consistently and methodically tracked a group of patients who each received a particular type of treatment.The important thing is to look carefully at the graphs accompanying an article. For instance, in our published data, there is one graph that sums up the experience of the group studied. It is entitled “Overall Freedom from Biochemical Progression,” and displays a line that plateaus (goes flat) at approximately 6 years. From that point on, the line is basically straight – meaning that any patients whose treatment was not successful had a rise in PSA in the first 6 years. After that they have consistently remained cancer free (as indicated by PSA monitoring) as long as they have been studied, which at this point is 16 years. We have every reason to believe these patients will never see a recurrence of their prostate cancer and will eventually die of some other cause. Many of these men will live 20, 25, or more years past their treatment at our Center.