More fuel for the radiation vs. surgery in prostate cancer debate comes from a study suggesting that patients with high-risk localized prostate cancer treated with external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) plus brachytherapy – with or without androgen deprivation (AD) – have survival rates equivalent to those of patients treated with radical prostatectomy (RP).
However, patients treated with EBRT and androgen deprivation without brachytherapy had significantly worse survival compared with patients treated with surgery, according to Ronald D. Ennis, MD, of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, and his colleagues.
“The data reported herein suggest that RT plus brachytherapy with or without AD and RP are associated with similar survival. This finding reinforces the need for patients to seek opinions from both a urologic oncologic surgeon with expertise in RP and a radiation oncologist with expertise in brachytherapy. The natural human tendency for physicians to prefer their modality necessitates this dual consultation approach, preferably in a single joint consultation visit,” the researchers wrote. The report was published in the.
The investigators attempted to control for variables that could influence the results by drawing on data on a large number of patients – 42,765 – who were treated at a large number of facilities across the United States. In addition, they incorporated data on clinical stage and Gleason score for all patients, prostate-specific antigen measurements, comorbidities, and socioeconomic factors that are either known or thought to influence treatment decisions.