Cytoreductive treatment strategies for de novo metastatic prostate cancer

Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2020 Mar;17(3):168-182. doi: 10.1038/s41571-019-0284-3. Epub 2019 Nov 11.


In the past decade, a revolution in the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer has occurred with the advent of novel hormonal agents and life-prolonging chemotherapy regimens in combination with standard androgen-deprivation therapy. Notwithstanding, the use of systemic therapy alone can result in a castrate-resistant state; therefore, increasing focus is being placed on the additional survival benefits that could potentially be achieved with local cytoreductive and/or metastasis-directed therapies. Local treatment of the primary tumour with the established modalities of radiotherapy and radical prostatectomy has been explored in this context, and the use of novel minimally invasive ablative therapies has been proposed. In addition, evidence of the potential clinical benefits of metastasis-directed therapy with ionizing radiation (primarily stereotactic ablative radiotherapy) is accumulating. Herein, we summarize the pathobiological rationale for local cytoreduction and the potentially systemic immunological responses to radiotherapy and ablative therapies in patients with metastatic prostate cancer. We also discuss the current evidence base for a cytoreductive strategy, including metastasis-directed therapy, in the current era of sequential multimodal therapy incorporating novel treatments. Finally, we outline further research questions relating to this complex and evolving treatment landscape.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Androgen Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatectomy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Radiosurgery


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen