Purpose: This study aimed to evaluate the changes in outcome for men with localized prostate cancer treated with definitive external beam radiation therapy during a 20-year period at a comprehensive cancer center.
Methods: We categorized 2675 men with prostate cancer treated at MD Anderson Cancer Center with definitive external beam radiation therapy with or without androgen deprivation therapy into 3 treatment eras: 1987 to 1993 (n = 722), 1994 to 1999 (n = 828), and 2000 to 2007 (n = 1125). To help adjust for stage migration, patients were stratified according to risk group as defined by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Biochemical (Phoenix definition), local, distant, and any clinical failure, prostate-cancer specific survival, and overall survival were analyzed according to the Kaplan-Meier method.
Results: Median age was 68.5 years and median follow-up was 6.4 years. Fewer men in the most recent era had high-risk disease, and a higher proportion received 72 Gy or higher (99% vs 4%) and androgen deprivation therapy (60% vs 6%) than the earliest era. All risk groups treated in the modern era experienced improved rates of biochemical, local, and distant failure. In high-risk patients, decreased rates of distant failure and clinical failure led to improved prostate cancer-specific survival and overall survival. Local control was improved for intermediate- and high-risk patients, with a trend toward improvement in low-risk patients. On multivariate analysis, recent treatment era was closely correlated with a dose of 72 Gy or higher and treatment with androgen deprivation therapy and predicted for lower rates of biochemical, local, and distant failure. Androgen deprivation therapy, higher dose, and more recent treatment era predicted for improved prostate cancer-specific survival.
Discussion: During the last 20 years of prostate cancer irradiation, disease control outcomes have improved in all patients, leading to improved prostate cancer-specific survival and overall survival for men with high-risk disease. This may reflect advances in workup, staging accuracy, and prostate cancer treatment in the modern era.