Risk of prostate cancer death after radical radiotherapy with neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapy with bicalutamide or gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists

Acta Oncol. 2023 Dec;62(12):1815-1821. doi: 10.1080/0284186X.2023.2269600. Epub 2023 Nov 25.


Background: Oncological outcome after radical radiotherapy (RRT) combined with neoadjuvant and adjuvant androgen suppression therapy (AST) may differ according to type of AST. The aim of this nationwide register-based study was to investigate risk of prostate cancer (Pca) death after different neoadjuvant and adjuvant ASTs; (i) bicalutamide, (ii) gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRH) or (iii) combined bicalutamide and GnRH (CAB), together with RRT.

Materials and methods: Data for 6882 men diagnosed with high-risk Pca between 2007 and 2020 and treated with primary RRT was retrieved from Prostate Cancer data Base Sweden (PCBaSe) 5.0. Time to Pca death according to type of neoadjuvant and adjuvant AST was assessed by use of Kaplan-Meier plots and Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for putative confounders.

Results: Data were stratified by RRT type since the effect of AST in risk of Pca death differed according to type of RRT. Compared with the reference RRT combined with neoadjuvant CAB/adjuvant GnRH, risk of Pca death for men treated with CAB/bicalutamide and conventionally fractionated external beam radiotherapy (CF-EBRT) was hazard ratio (HR) 0.73 (95% CI: 0.50-1.04), hypofractionated EBRT (HF-EBRT), HR 1.35 (95% CI: 0.65-2.81) and EBRT with high dose rate brachytherapy (EBRT-HDRBT), HR 0.85 (95% CI: 0.37-1.95). Risk of Pca death for men treated with bicalutamide/bicalutamide and: (i) CF-EBRT was HR 2.35 (95% CI: 1.42-3.90), (ii) HF-EBRT, HR 0.70 (95% CI: 0.26-1.85), (iii) HF-EBRT, HR 4.07 (95% CI: 1.88-8.77) vs the reference.

Conclusion: In this observational study, risk of Pca death between men receiving different combinations of AST varied according to RRT type. No difference was found in risk of Pca death for men treated with bicalutamide or GnRH as adjuvant therapy to RRT following neoadjuvant CAB. Risk of Pca death was increased for men with monotherapy neo-/adjuvant bicalutamide in combination with CF-EBRT or EBRT-HDRBT.

Keywords: Prostate neoplasms; androgen antagonists; gonadotropin-releasing hormone; mortality; prognosis; radiotherapy.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Androgen Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Brachytherapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / radiotherapy


  • bicalutamide
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Androgen Antagonists