Radiotherapy after prostatectomy reduces risk of cancer recurrence

December 7, 2006

Radiotherapy after radical prostatectomy significantly reduces the risk of recurrent disease, suggests a multicenter study led by Ian Thompson, MD, of the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

Radiotherapy after radical prostatectomy significantly reduces the risk of recurrent disease, suggests a multicenter study led by Ian Thompson, MD, of the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

The study enrolled 211 men who were assigned to the usual care and observation and who were to have radiotherapy only if their PSA levels showed a relapse. It also enrolled 214 men who were to receive radiotherapy after surgery without waiting for PSA levels to elevate.

Although the study demonstrated that radiation therapy did not achieve statistical significance in the reduction of men with subsequent spread of cancer, men assigned to immediate radiotherapy were found to be only half as likely to suffer PSA relapse and return of cancer as men assigned to observation (JAMA 2006; 296:2329-35).

“Radiotherapy after surgery had a significant effect on reducing cancer recurrence, preventing a whole series of additional hormone treatments that can have undesirable effects,” Dr. Thompson said.