Radiotherapy with or without androgen deprivation in the treatment of localized adenocarcinoma of the prostate

Giorgio Arcangeli, Biancamaria Saracino, Adriana Micheli, Luciano D'Angelo, Vito Pansadoro, Enrico Cruciani, Paolo Marchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study analyzes the results of disease relapse and survival in two series of patients treated between 1974 and 1991 with definitive irradiation, with or without early androgen deprivation, for carcinoma of the prostate localized to the pelvis. All 264 patients were irradiated to the prostate and pelvic lymph nodes with a dose of 50 to 54 Gy in 25 to 27 fractions, followed by a 16- to 20-Gy boost in 8 to 10 fractions to the prostate and periprostatic region. Ninety percent of patients received a total dose to the prostate (pelvis + boost) of 70 Gy. Ninety-nine of the 264 patients underwent early androgen deprivation. The endocrine manipulation program was initiated 0 to 9 months before the beginning of the radiotherapy course and was continued for 2 or more years or until disease progression. All patients who relapsed after radiotherapy alone received late hormonal manipulation. After a median follow-up of 100 months, no difference in the incidence of local and distant failure rate and cancer-specific mortality was detected between the two treatment groups. The local and distant failure rates were, respectively, 19% and 40% in patients who had undergone radiotherapy and early androgen deprivation and 20% and 36% in patients who received radiotherapy alone. Cancer mortality was similar, with 35% and 30% of deaths in the former and latter group, respectively. Death for intercurrent disease, however, was significantly more frequent (p = 0.03) in patients treated with radiotherapy and hormones (19%) than in those who received radiotherapy alone (8%). Actuarial analysis of both metastasis-free and disease-free survival detected no difference between the two treatment groups, with 10-year rates of 53.3% and 42.5%, respectively, in the radiation-alone group and 45.5% and 47%, respectively, in the radiation-plus-androgen deprivation group. A statistically significant difference (p = 0.03) in overall survival in favor of patients treated with radiotherapy alone was noted, with a 10-year rate of 47%, compared with 26% observed in the radiotherapy-plus-androgen deprivation group. In conclusion, results of our study confirm numerous reports based on retrospective analyses that failed to show any benefit of hormonal management adjuvant to a definitive irradiation. The disappointing finding was the significantly better overall survival in patients who underwent radiotherapy alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1998


  • Adjuvant androgen deprivation
  • Early endocrine manipulation
  • Radiotherapy of prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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