Adjuvant radiotherapy versus early salvage radiotherapy plus short-term androgen deprivation therapy in men with localised prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy (GETUG-AFU 17): a randomised, phase 3 trial.

Adjuvant radiotherapy reduces the risk of biochemical progression in prostate cancer patients after radical prostatectomy. We aimed to compare adjuvant versus early salvage radiotherapy after radical prostatectomy, combined with short-term hormonal therapy, in terms of oncological outcomes and tolerance.

GETUG-AFU 17 was a randomised, open-label, multicentre, phase 3 trial done at 46 French hospitals. Men aged at least 18 years who had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 1 or less, localised adenocarcinoma of the prostate treated with radical prostatectomy, who had pathologically-staged pT3a, pT3b, or pT4a (with bladder neck invasion), pNx (without pelvic lymph nodes dissection), or pN0 (with negative lymph nodes dissection) disease, and who had positive surgical margins were eligible for inclusion in the study. Eligible patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to either immediate adjuvant radiotherapy or delayed salvage radiotherapy at the time of biochemical relapse. Random assignment, by minimisation, was done using web-based software and stratified by Gleason score, pT stage, and centre. All patients received 6 months of triptorelin (intramuscular injection every 3 months). The primary endpoint was event-free survival. Efficacy and safety analyses were done on the intention-to-treat population. The trial is registered with, NCT00667069.

Between March 7, 2008, and June 23, 2016, 424 patients were enrolled. We planned to enrol 718 patients, with 359 in each study group. However, on May 20, 2016, the independent data monitoring committee recommended early termination of enrolment because of unexpectedly low event rates. At database lock on Dec 19, 2019, the overall median follow-up time from random assignment was 75 months (IQR 50-100), 74 months (47-100) in the adjuvant radiotherapy group and 78 months (52-101) in the salvage radiotherapy group. In the salvage radiotherapy group, 115 (54%) of 212 patients initiated study treatment after biochemical relapse. 205 (97%) of 212 patients started treatment in the adjuvant group. 5-year event-free survival was 92% (95% CI 86-95) in the adjuvant radiotherapy group and 90% (85-94) in the salvage radiotherapy group (HR 0·81, 95% CI 0·48-1·36; log-rank p=0·42). Acute grade 3 or worse toxic effects occurred in six (3%) of 212 patients in the adjuvant radiotherapy group and in four (2%) of 212 patients in the salvage radiotherapy group. Late grade 2 or worse genitourinary toxicities were reported in 125 (59%) of 212 patients in the adjuvant radiotherapy group and 46 (22%) of 212 patients in the salvage radiotherapy group. Late genitourinary adverse events of grade 2 or worse were reported in 58 (27%) of 212 patients in the adjuvant radiotherapy group versus 14 (7%) of 212 patients in the salvage radiotherapy group (p<0·0001). Late erectile dysfunction was grade 2 or worse in 60 (28%) of 212 in the adjuvant radiotherapy group and 17 (8%) of 212 in the salvage radiotherapy group (p<0·0001).

Although our analysis lacked statistical power, we found no benefit for event-free survival in patients assigned to adjuvant radiotherapy compared with patients assigned to salvage radiotherapy. Adjuvant radiotherapy increased the risk of genitourinary toxicity and erectile dysfunction. A policy of early salvage radiotherapy could spare men from overtreatment with radiotherapy and the associated adverse events.

French Health Ministry and Ipsen.

The Lancet. Oncology. 2020 Oct [Epub]

Paul Sargos, Sylvie Chabaud, Igor Latorzeff, Nicolas Magné, Ahmed Benyoucef, Stéphane Supiot, David Pasquier, Menouar Samir Abdiche, Olivier Gilliot, Pierre Graff-Cailleaud, Marlon Silva, Philippe Bergerot, Pierre Baumann, Yazid Belkacemi, David Azria, Meryem Brihoum, Michel Soulié, Pierre Richaud

Institut Bergonié, Bordeaux, France. Electronic address: ., Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France., Clinique Pasteur, Toulouse, France., Institut de Cancérologie de la Loire, Saint-Priest-en-Jarèz, France., Centre Henri Becquerel, Rouen, France., Institut de Cancérologie de l'Ouest, Site René Gauducheau, Saint-Herblain, France., Centre Oscar Lambret and Lille University, Lille, France., Centre Hospitalier Robert Boulin, Libourne, France., Clinique Marzet, Pau, France., Institut Claudius Regaud, Toulouse, France., Centre François Baclesse, Caen, France., Clinique Mutualiste de l'Estuaire, Cité Sanitaire, Saint-Nazaire, France., Centre d'Oncologie de Gentilly, Nancy, France., Hôpitaux Universitaires Henri Mondor, Université Paris Est Créteil, Creteil, France., Institut Régional du Cancer de Montpellier Val d'Aurelle, Montpellier, France., Unicancer, Paris, France., CHU de Toulouse, Toulouse, France., Institut Bergonié, Bordeaux, France.