Nine-year prostate cancer survival differences between aggressive versus conservative therapy in men with advanced and metastatic prostate cancer

Cancer. 2018 May 1;124(9):1921-1928. doi: 10.1002/cncr.31285. Epub 2018 Mar 2.


Background: To the authors' knowledge, the survival benefit of local therapy in the setting of advanced prostate cancer remains unknown. The authors investigated whether prostate-directed treatment with either surgery or radiotherapy versus conservative treatment in the setting of locally advanced or metastatic disease was associated with improved survival within a cohort of men from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Breast and Prostate Cancer Data Quality and Patterns of Care Study (CDC POC-BP).

Methods: Men diagnosed with locally advanced (cT3-T4 or N+ and M0) or metastatic prostate cancer were identified. The authors compared survival by treatment type, categorized as conservative (androgen deprivation therapy only) versus aggressive (radical prostatectomy or any type of radiotherapy). Nine-year overall survival and prostate cancer-specific survival were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to determine factors independently associated with 9-year prostate cancer-specific survival.

Results: For men with advanced, nonmetastatic prostate cancer, conservative treatment alone was associated with a 4 times higher likelihood of prostate cancer mortality compared with men treated with surgery (hazard ratio, 4.18; 95% confidence interval, 1.44-12.14). In contrast, no difference was found between conservative versus aggressive treatment after adjusting for covariates for men with metastatic disease. The 9-year prostate cancer-specific survival rate was 27% for those receiving aggressive treatment versus 24% for men undergoing conservative treatment.

Conclusions: The authors did not observe a survival advantage with local therapy in addition to standard androgen deprivation therapy for men with metastatic prostate cancer. However, the results of the current study did affirm advantages in the setting of locally advanced disease. Aggressive local therapy in the setting of metastatic disease needs to be studied carefully before clinical adoption. Cancer 2018;124:1921-8. © 2018 American Cancer Society.

Keywords: advanced; metastatic; prostate cancer; radical prostatectomy; radiotherapy; survival.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Androgen Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use*
  • Chemoradiotherapy / methods
  • Cohort Studies
  • Conservative Treatment / methods
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostate / pathology
  • Prostate / surgery
  • Prostatectomy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / microbiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal