Objectives: To evaluate the long-term effects of 3-month neoadjuvant hormonal treatment in patients treated by radical prostatectomy for locally confined prostate cancer.
Methods: We report the results of 402 patients (220 with a clinical T2 tumor and 182 with a clinical T3 tumor) of whom 192 randomly received neoadjuvant total androgen deprivation using a LHRH analogue (goserelin) plus flutamide for a period of 3 months and 210 underwent radical prostatectomy only.
Results: 'Clinical downstaging' was seen in 30% of cases in the neoadjuvantly treated group (NEO). 'Pathological downstaging' occurred in 7 and 15% of cases in the direct radical prostatectomy (DP) group and the NEO group, respectively (p<0.01). In patients with clinical T2 as well as in patients with clinical T3 tumors, a significant difference in the number of positive margins was shown in favor of the NEO group (cT2, p<0.01; cT3, p = 0.01). This advantage, although there was a trend in favor of the NEO group, specifically in cT2 tumors, did not translate in a significantly better PSA progression rate (p = 0.18). However, when evaluating the local control rate in cT2 tumors, we observed local recurrence in 3 of 102 (3%) patients in the NEO group versus 12 of 114 (11%) patients in the DP group. The difference is statistically significant (p = 0.03). In the cT3 group, this difference was not statistically significant (NEO group: 15 of 87 (17%), and DP group: 21 of 95 (22%) patients; p = 0.41).
Conclusions: In this study, the clinical revelance of pathological downstaging and the lower percentage of patients with positive margins in the neoadjuvantly treated group with a clinical T2 tumor is not confirmed by a lower PSA progression rate. However, this study indicates that there may be a trend that this advantage in favor of the NEO group directly translates into a better local control rate in clinical T2 tumors. Better local control in cT2 tumors is only going to be of relevance if subsequently you can show that there is a better survival for these patients. Unfortunately, this article reports a study which is not yet mature enough to show relevant information. Presently, neoadjuvant therapy should not be given outside clinical research settings.