Evidence-based radiation oncology: Definitive, adjuvant and salvage radiotherapy for non-metastatic prostate cancer

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The standard treatment options based on the risk category (stage, Gleason score, PSA) for localized prostate cancer include surgery, radiotherapy and watchful waiting. The literature does not provide clear-cut evidence for the superiority of surgery over radiotherapy, whereas both approaches differ in their side effects. The definitive external beam irradiation is frequently employed in stage T1b-T1c, T2 and T3 tumors. There is a pretty strong evidence that intermediate- and high-risk patients benefit from dose escalation. The latter requires reduction of the irradiated normal tissue (using 3-dimensional conformal approach, intensity modulated radiotherapy, image-guided radiotherapy, etc.). Recent data suggest that prostate cancer may benefit from hypofractionation due to relatively low α/β ratio; these findings warrant confirmation though. The role of whole pelvis irradiation is still controversial. Numerous randomized trials demonstrated a clinical benefit in terms of biochemical control, local and distant control, and overall survival from the addition of androgen suppression to external beam radiotherapy in intermediate- and high-risk patients. These studies typically included locally advanced (T3-T4) and poor-prognosis (Gleason score >7 and/or PSA >20 ng/mL) tumors and employed neoadjuvant/concomitant/adjuvant androgen suppression rather than only adjuvant setting. The ongoing trials will hopefully further define the role of endocrine treatment in more favorable risk patients and in the setting of the dose escalated radiotherapy. Brachytherapy (BRT) with permanent implants may be offered to low-risk patients (cT1-T2a, Gleason score

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-215
Number of pages19
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • Androgen deprivation
  • Dose escalation
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radiotherapy
  • Randomized

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Urology


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