SAN ANTONIO -

Doctors are having big success with a national prostate cancer treatment study.

Results are so good that the study was made public earlier than scheduled so patients can consider it as an option.

Charles Boone, 76, was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007 and although he's had ups and downs, currently his prognosis is good. 

Boone is one of many who've had positive results with a National Institutes of Health clinical trial, having taken part at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center in San Antonio.

The study added hormone therapy during the start of chemotherapy treatment with the drug Docetaxel.

"By the time we finished the chemotherapy, it was down to zero again. (It was) undetectable," said Boone.

The study included 790 men from across the nation with metastatic prostate cancer. All patients received a form of hormone therapy known as ADT -- androgen deprivation therapy. In addition, some received Docetaxel. 

Those who received the combination treatment had a 69 percent survival rate over a three-year period, compared to a 52 percent survival rate over a three-year period for those who only received hormone therapy.

Experts said although it's not typical for the National Institutes of Health to release results of a study early on, in this case, they felt the results were so compelling they wanted doctors to know about it.

"It'll likely be practice-changing in that we may be using chemotherapy sooner with patients with prostate cancer that metastasized early on," said Dr. John Sarantopolis, an oncologist at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center.

For Boone, hormone therapy and regular checkups continue to be a part of life for but he's happy to have the cancer under control.

"I feel good about it. This has been a marvelous experience for me. It really has," he said. 

Since Docetaxel is already approved by the FDA, it's likely doctors will start implementing the new hormone combination treatment in the near future.

More information about the study is available here.

For a list of recent stories Eileen Gonzales has done, click here.