Management of unfavorable locoregional prostate carcinoma with radiation and androgen ablation

Gunar K. Zagars, Alan Pollack, Andrew C. Von Eschenbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. This study attempted to define unfavorable locoregional prostate carcinoma and presents the results of treatment with combined radiation and androgen ablation for these patients. METHODS. Of a group of 938 men with clinically localized N0/NX disease treated with radiation alone, an unfavorable category included all men with prostate specific antigen (PSA) > 20 ng/mL and all men with 10 < PSA ≤ 20 ng/mL but with Gleason's grade > 7. One hundred and eighty-five such men treated with radiation alone and an additional 100 men with similar disease received radiation with early androgen ablation. A second cohort was comprised of 229 men with lymphadenectomy proven pelvic lymph node metastases, with 185 receiving early androgen ablation alone and 44 receiving androgen ablation and local radiation. The outcomes, with recurrence or rising PSA as the endpoint, were compared among these various treatment groups using multivariate techniques. RESULTS. Disease outcome with the combined modality treatment was dramatically improved in both cohorts of men. For those with unfavorable N0/NX disease, the failure rate at 5 years decreased from 82% with only radiation therapy to 15% with combined treatment. Likewise, for patients with lymph node disease, the failure rate at 5 years decreased from 58% with only androgen ablation to 10% with combined treatment. For the whole group with unfavorable disease (unfavorable N0/NX and lymph node positive disease) the 6-year failure decreased from 71% with single modality treatment to 13% with bimodality treatment. There was a close relationship between the incidence of lymph node disease and prognostic categories and patients with otherwise unfavorable disease did not have their poor outlook ameliorated by undergoing a negative lymphadenectomy. CONCLUSIONS. Unfavorable locoregional prostate carcinoma can be recognized on the basis of pretreatment PSA level, T category, and Gleason's grade without specific evaluation of pelvic lymph node status. Combined local radiation and androgen ablation for patients with unfavorable disease results in a substantial improvement in disease control compared with that achieved by either modality alone. The authors found no improvement in survival because all groups of men had a normal life expectancy to at least 5 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)764-775
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Adjuvant treatment
  • Androgen ablation
  • Prognostic factors
  • Prostate carcinoma
  • Radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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