Background: We did a randomised phase 3 trial assessing the benefit of addition of long-term androgen suppression with a luteinising-hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist to external irradiation in patients with prostate cancer with high metastatic risk. In this report, we present the 10-year results.
Methods: For this open-label randomised trial, eligible patients were younger than 80 years and had newly diagnosed histologically proven T1-2 prostatic adenocarcinoma with WHO histological grade 3 or T3-4 prostatic adenocarcinoma of any histological grade, and a WHO performance status of 0-2. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive radiotherapy alone or radiotherapy plus immediate androgen suppression. Treatment allocation was open label and used a minimisation algorithm with institution, clinical stage of the disease, results of pelvic-lymph-node dissection, and irradiation fields extension as minimisation factors. Patients were irradiated externally, once a day, 5 days a week, for 7 weeks to a total dose of 50 Gy to the whole pelvis, with an additional 20 Gy to the prostate and seminal vesicles. The LHRH agonist, goserelin acetate (3·6 mg subcutaneously every 4 weeks), was started on the first day of irradiation and continued for 3 years; cyproterone acetate (50 mg orally three times a day) was given for 1 month starting a week before the first goserelin injection. The primary endpoint was clinical disease-free survival. Analysis was by intention to treat. The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00849082.
Findings: Between May 22, 1987, and Oct 31, 1995, 415 patients were randomly assigned to treatment groups and were included in the analysis (208 radiotherapy alone, 207 combined treatment). Median follow-up was 9·1 years (IQR 5·1-12·6). 10-year clinical disease-free survival was 22·7% (95% CI 16·3-29·7) in the radiotherapy-alone group and 47·7% (39·0-56·0) in the combined treatment group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·42, 95% CI 0·33-0·55, p<0·0001). 10-year overall survival was 39·8% (95% CI 31·9-47·5) in patients receiving radiotherapy alone and 58·1% (49·2-66·0) in those allocated combined treatment (HR 0·60, 95% CI 0·45-0·80, p=0·0004), and 10-year prostate-cancer mortality was 30·4% (95% CI 23·2-37·5) and 10·3% (5·1-15·4), respectively (HR 0·38, 95% CI 0·24-0·60, p<0·0001). No significant difference in cardiovascular mortality was noted between treatment groups both in patients who had cardiovascular problems at study entry (eight of 53 patients in the combined treatment group had a cardiovascular-related cause of death vs 11 of 63 in the radiotherapy group; p=0·60) and in those who did not (14 of 154 vs six of 145; p=0·25). Two fractures were reported in patients allocated combined treatment.
Interpretation: In patients with prostate cancer with high metastatic risk, immediate androgen suppression with an LHRH agonist given during and for 3 years after external irradiation improves 10-year disease-free and overall survival without increasing late cardiovascular toxicity.
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