To determine the timing and patterns of late recurrence after radical prostatectomy (RP) alone or RP plus adjuvant radiotherapy (RT). Between 1970 and 1983, 159 patients underwent RP for newly diagnosed adenocarcinoma of the prostate and were found to have positive surgical margins, extracapsular extension and/or seminal vesicle invasion. Of these, 46 received adjuvant RT and 113 did not. The RT group generally received 45-50Gy to the whole pelvis, then a boost to the prostate bed (total dose of 55-65Gy). In the RP group, 62% received neoadjuvant/ adjuvant androgen deprivation vs 17% in the RT group. Patients were analyzed with respect to timing and patterns of failure. Only one patient was lost to follow-up. The median follow-up for surviving patients was nearly 20 years. The median time to failure in the surgery group was 7.5 vs 14.7 years in the RT group (P=0.1). Late recurrences were less common in the surgery group than the RT group (9 and 1% at 10 and 15 years, respectively vs 17 and 9%). In contrast to recurrences, nearly half of deaths from prostate cancer occurred more than 10 years after treatment. Deaths from prostate cancer represented 55% of all deaths in these patients. Recurrences beyond 10 years after RP in this group of patients were relatively uncommon. Despite its long natural history, death from prostate cancer was the most common cause of mortality in this population with locally advanced tumors, reflecting the need for more effective therapy.
- Adjuvant radiotherapy
- Patterns of failure