Radiotherapy after Prostatectomy Might Increase Survival

The study included 635 men who underwent radical prostatectomy from 1982 to 2004. They were followed up through December 2007 and experienced biochemical recurrence (increased PSA levels) and respectively or local cancer recurrence. They received either no salvage treatment, salvage radiotherapy alone, or salvage radiotherapy combined with hormonal therapy.

The researchers concluded that salvage radiotherapy, regardless of whether given alone or with hormonal therapy, was associated with a statistically significant decrease in the risk of death of nearly 60 percent and a three-fold increase in prostate cancer–specific survival relative to those who received no salvage treatment. Salvage radiotherapy was also associated with a significant increase in overall survival.

With a median follow-up of six years after recurrence and nine years after prostatectomy, 18 percent or 116 men died from prostate cancer. Of those, 89 men had not received salvage treatment, 18 had received salvage radiotherapy alone, and nine had received salvage radiotherapy and hormonal therapy.

The increase in prostate cancer–specific survival associated with salvage radiotherapy was limited to men with PSA doubling time (a measurement of how aggressive the disease is) of less than six months. Among 166 men with PSA doubling time of less than six months, salvage radiotherapy alone and salvage therapy with hormonal treatment were associated with a reduction in risk of prostate cancer–specific death by more than 75 percent. Salvage radiotherapy was associated with an increase in survival only if given sooner than 2 years after recurrence.

MEDICA.de; Source: JAMA and Archives Journals