Radiation Therapy after Radical Prostatectomy: Implications for Clinicians

Depending on the pathological findings, up to 60% of prostate cancer patients who undergo radical prostatectomy (RP) will develop biochemical relapse and require further local treatment. Radiotherapy (RT) immediately after RP may potentially eradicate any residual localized microscopic disease in the prostate bed, and it is associated with improved biochemical, clinical progression-free survival, and overall survival in patients with high-risk pathological features according to published randomized trials. Offering immediate adjuvant RT to all men with high-risk pathological factors we are over-treating around 50% of patients who would anyway be cancer-free, exposing them to unnecessary toxicity and adding costs to the health-care system. The current dilemma is, thus, whether to deliver adjuvant immediate RT solely on the basis of high-risk pathology, but in the absence of measurable prostate-specific antigen, or whether early salvage radiotherapy would yield equivalent outcomes. Randomized trials are ongoing to definitely answer this question. Retrospective analyses suggest that there is a dose-response favoring doses >70 Gy to the prostate bed. The evidence regarding the role of androgen deprivation therapy is emerging, and ongoing randomized trials are underway.

Frontiers in oncology. 2016 May 09*** epublish ***

Fernanda G Herrera, Dominik R Berthold

Radiation Oncology Services, Department of Oncology, Lausanne University Hospital , Lausanne , Switzerland., Medical Oncology Services, Department of Oncology, Lausanne University Hospital , Lausanne , Switzerland.