Long-Term Results of a Randomized Trial Comparing Iridium Implant Plus External Beam Radiation Therapy With External Beam Radiation Therapy Alone in Node-Negative Locally Advanced Cancer of the Prostate
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PURPOSE: To determine the impact on long-term survival from the addition of brachytherapy to external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) in patients with prostate cancer. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Between 1992 and 1997, 104 men with cT2-3, surgically staged node-negative prostate cancer were randomized to receive either EBRT (40 Gy/20 fractions) with iridium implant (35 Gy/48 hours) or EBRT alone (66 Gy/33 fractions) to the prostate. According to T stage, Gleason score, and prostate-specific antigen level, 60% of patients had high-risk disease. Substantial improvements in biochemical control at 8 years have previously been reported. Additional follow-up was collected on deaths and metastases. RESULTS: Median follow-up was 14 years. Five patients were lost to follow-up. All other patients have been followed a minimum of 13 years. There have been 75 deaths, including 21 from prostate cancer and 25 from second cancers. No patients developing a second cancer have died from prostate cancer. There was no difference in overall survival between the 2 treatment groups: 34 deaths (67%) in the implant arm and 41 (77%) in the EBRT arm (hazard ratio [HR] 1.00, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.63-1.59). Similarly, there was no difference in prostate cancer-specific deaths: 9 (18%) patients in the implant arm compared with 12 (23%) in the EBRT arm (HR 0.79, 95% CI 0.34-1.87). There was no statistically significant difference in the number of patients developing metastatic disease: 10 (20%) in the implant arm and 15 (28%) in the EBRT arm (HR 0.70, 95% CI 0.32-1.57). Improvements in biochemical control were maintained (HR 0.53, 95% CI 0.31-0.88). CONCLUSIONS: Despite a dramatic reduction of biochemical recurrence rates, the addition of iridium implant to EBRT did not translate into improved overall survival or prostate cancer-specific survival.
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