External-beam radiotherapy (EBRT) combined with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is known to provide improved survival outcomes compared with EBRT alone in the treatment of prostate cancer; however, the use of ADT has been reported to be associated with adverse events.
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Accordingly, the aim of the present study was to clarify the adequate duration of ADT when combined with EBRT to treat patients with high-risk localized prostate cancer, with consideration of survival outcomes and toxicity.
Between 2001 and 2011, 173 patients with high-risk localized prostate cancer received ADT combined with EBRT, at a median dose of 69.6 Gy. Of these, 54 (31%) underwent short-term ADT (31%) underwent short-term ADT (<36 months) and 119 (69%) underwent long-term ADT (≥36 months).
During the median follow-up period of 54 months, the five-year progression-free survival rate of patients receiving short-term ADT (72.9%) was significantly lower than that of patients receiving long-term ADT (92.8%) (P<0.01).
Furthermore, the incidence of cardiovascular toxicity at grade II or above was significantly higher amongst patients treated with short-term ADT compared with patients treated with long-term ADT (P<0.01). Thus, the present study determined that ADT for ≥36 months combined with EBRT significantly improved the progression-free survival of patients with high-risk localized prostate cancer and exhibited an acceptable toxicity profile.