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Prostate-only Versus Whole-pelvis Radiation with or Without a Brachytherapy Boost for Gleason Grade Group 5 Prostate Cancer: A Retrospective Analysis

Abstract
BACKGROUND:
The role of elective whole-pelvis radiotherapy (WPRT) remains controversial. Few studies have investigated it in Gleason grade group (GG) 5 prostate cancer (PCa), known to have a high risk of nodal metastases.

OBJECTIVE:
To assess the impact of WPRT on patients with GG 5 PCa treated with external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT) or EBRT with a brachytherapy boost (EBRT+BT).

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:
We identified 1170 patients with biopsy-proven GG 5 PCa from 11 centers in the United States and one in Norway treated between 2000 and 2013 (734 with EBRT and 436 with EBRT+BT).

OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:
Biochemical recurrence-free survival (bRFS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), and prostate cancer-specific survival (PCSS) were compared using Cox proportional hazards models with propensity score adjustment.

RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS:
A total of 299 EBRT patients (41%) and 320 EBRT+BT patients (73%) received WPRT. The adjusted 5-yr bRFS rates with WPRT in the EBRT and EBRT+BT groups were 66% and 88%, respectively. Without WPRT, these rates for the EBRT and EBRT+BT groups were 58% and 78%, respectively. The median follow-up was 5.6yr. WPRT was associated with improved bRFS among patients treated with EBRT+BT (hazard ratio [HR] 0.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.2-0.9, p=0.02), but no evidence for improvement was found in those treated with EBRT (HR 0.8, 95% CI 0.6-1.2, p=0.4). WPRT was not significantly associated with improved DMFS or PCSS in the EBRT group (HR 1.1, 95% CI 0.7-1.7, p=0.8 for DMFS and HR 0.7, 95% CI 0.4-1.1, p=0.1 for PCSS), or in the EBRT+BT group (HR 0.6, 95% CI 0.3-1.4, p=0.2 for DMFS and HR 0.5 95% CI 0.2-1.2, p=0.1 for PCSS).

CONCLUSIONS:
WPRT was not associated with improved PCSS or DMFS in patients with GG 5 PCa who received either EBRT or EBRT+BT. However, WPRT was associated with a significant improvement in bRFS among patients receiving EBRT+BT. Strategies to optimize WPRT, potentially with the use of advanced imaging techniques to identify occult nodal disease, are warranted.

PATIENT SUMMARY:
When men with a high Gleason grade prostate cancer receive radiation with external radiation and brachytherapy, the addition of radiation to the pelvis results in a longer duration of prostate-specific antigen control. However, we did not find a difference in their survival from prostate cancer or in their survival without metastatic disease. We also did not find a benefit for radiation to the pelvis in men who received radiation without brachytherapy.

Copyright © 2019 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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