Influence of radiotherapy on node-positive prostate cancer treated with androgen ablation

M. Elizabeth Sands, Alan Pollack, Gunar K. Zagars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Purpose: Patients with node-positive prostate cancer that is regionally localized (T1-4, N1-3, M0) have a relatively poor prognosis when a single-treatment modality such as radical surgery, definitive radiotherapy, or androgen ablation is used. While promising results radical surgery and androgen ablation have been reported, there are no date support an analogous approach using a local radiotherapy and androgen ablation. In this retrospective review, the outcome after local radiotherapy and early androgen ablation (XRT/HORM) was compared to early androgen ablation alone (HORM). Methods and Materials: Betweeb 1984 and 1992 there were 181 patients treated with HORM and 27 patients treated with XRT/HORM at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. The Nodal status of all patients was establisged pathologically by lymph node dissection, which was terminated after frozen section confirmation of involvement. In the majority of cases androgen ablation was by orchiectomy. The median dose to the prostate in XRT/HORM group was 66 Gy. The median follow-up was 45 months; 49 months for the HORM group and 25 months for the XRT/HORM group. Results: The distribution of prognostic factors between the HORM and XRT/HORM groups was similar, with the exception of tumor grade. There was a significantly larger proportion of high grade tumors in the HORM group. In terms of actuarial disease outcome, at 4 years the results of patients in the HORM group were significantly worse, including a rising prostate specific antigen (PSA) of 53%, any disease progression of 32%, a rising PSA or disease progression of 55%, and local progression of 22%. None of the patients in the XRT/HORM group failed biochemically or clinically. To determine the impact of grade on these findings, the analyses were repeated, using only those with grade 2 tumors. A similar pattern was evidenced with significantly worse actuarial outcome at 4 years for the HORM group using the endpoints of a rising PSA (46%), any disease progression (24%), and a rising PSA or disease progression (47%). Conclusion: Node-positive prostate cancer patients with regionally localized disease fared significantly better when combined local radiotherapy and early androgen ablation were used, as compared to early androgen ablation alone. Although the number of patients in the XRT/HORM group was small and follow-up was short, the combined treatment had a dramatic effect on disease outcome and, therefore, a larger prospective randomized trial is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Androgen ablation
  • Node positive
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation


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