Prostate radiation in non-metastatic castrate refractory prostate cancer provides an interesting insight into biology of prostate cancer

Radiat Oncol. 2012 Mar 22;7:43. doi: 10.1186/1748-717X-7-43.


Background: The natural history of non-metastatic castrate refractory prostate cancer is unknown and treatment options are limited. We present a retrospective review of 13 patients with locally advanced or high risk prostate cancer, initially treated with hormone monotherapy and then treated with prostate radiation after becoming castration refractory.

Findings: Median PSA response following prostate radiation was 67.4%. Median time to biochemical progression following radiotherapy was 15 months and to detection of metastatic disease was 18.5 months. Median survival from castration resistance (to date of death or November 2011) was 60 months, with median survival from RT 42 months.

Conclusion: Prostate radiation appears to be beneficial even in patients with potential micrometastatic disease, which supports the hypothesis that the primary tumour is important in the progression of prostate cancer. These results are an interesting addition to the literature on the biology of prostate cancer especially as this data is unlikely to be available in the future due to combined prostate radiation and androgen deprivation therapy now being the standard of care.

MeSH terms

  • Androgen Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use
  • Castration
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salvage Therapy / methods*


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen