Purpose: Contemporary patients with localized prostate cancer (PCa) are more frequently treated with radiotherapy. However, there are limited data on the effect of this treatment on cancer-specific mortality (CSM). Our objective was to test the relationship between radiotherapy and survival in men with localized PCa and compare it with those treated with observation.
Methods: A population-based cohort identified 68,797 men with cT1-T2 PCa treated with radiotherapy or observation between the years 1992 and 2005. Propensity-score matching was used to minimize potential bias related to treatment assignment. Competing-risks analyses tested the effect of treatment type (radiotherapy vs. observation) on CSM, after accounting to other-cause mortality. All analyses were carried out within PCa risk, baseline comorbidity status, and age groups.
Results: Radiotherapy was associated with more favorable 10-year CSM rates than observation in patients with high-risk PCa (8.8 vs. 14.4%, hazard ratio [HR]: 0.59, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.50-0.68). Conversely, the beneficial effect of radiotherapy on CSM was not evident in patients with low-intermediate risk PCa (3.7 vs. 4.1%, HR: 0.91, 95% CI: 0.80-1.04). Radiotherapy was beneficial in elderly patients (5.6 vs. 7.3%, HR: 0.70, 95% CI: 0.59-0.80). Moreover, it was associated with improved CSM rates among patients with no comorbidities (5.7 vs. 6.5%, HR: 0.81, 95% CI: 0.67-0.98), one comorbidity (4.6 vs. 6.0%, HR: 0.87, 95% CI: 0.75-0.99), and more than two comorbidities (4.2 vs. 5.0%, HR: 0.79, 95% CI: 0.65-0.96).
Conclusions: Radiotherapy substantially improves CSM in patients with high-risk PCa, with little or no benefit in patients with low-/intermediate-risk PCa relative to observation. These findings must be interpreted within the context of the limitations of observational data.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.