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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 170-177

Adjuvant versus early Salvage radiation therapy for prostate cancer with adverse pathological features on radical prostatectomy—Do we finally have an answer?

1 Department of Gen. Surgery, Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
2 Department of Radiation Oncology, Tata Medical Centre, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Urology, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, Lister Hospital, UK
4 Department of Surgical Oncology, Division of Urologic Oncology, Max Institute of Cancer Care, Saket, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Gagan Gautam
Department of Surgical Oncology, Division of Urologic Oncology, Max Institute of Cancer Care, Saket, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_516_20

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Background: The presence of adverse pathological features like extraprostatic extension, seminal vesicle involvement, or positive margins at radical prostatectomy incurs a high risk of postoperative recurrence. Currently, adjuvant radiotherapy (ART) is the standard of care in these patients, while early salvage radiotherapy (eSRT) is a potential alternative strategy. Aims: The purpose of this paper is to review the latest evidence comparing outcomes of adjuvant versus early SRT in this clinical scenario. Materials and Methods: A systematic review of Google Scholar, PubMed/Medline, and EMBASE was done to identify relevant studies published in the English language, regarding outcomes of adjuvant radiotherapy and early SRT in post radical prostatectomy patients. Twelve studies, including six randomized trials, four retrospective studies, one systematic review, and one metanalysis were included in the final analysis. Results: We found that initial randomized trials demonstrated better event-free survival with adjuvant radiotherapy when compared to observation alone. However, ART was associated with increased risk of overtreatment and thus increased radiation-related toxicity rates. Conclusion: Preliminary evidence from recently reported RCTs suggests that eSRT may provide equivalent oncological outcomes to ART in prostate cancer patients with adverse pathology on radical prostatectomy while decreasing unnecessary treatment and radiation-related toxicity in a significant proportion of patients. However, the final verdict would be delivered after the long-term metastasis-free survival and overall survival outcomes are available.


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