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Keywords:

  • prostate cancer;
  • radiotherapy;
  • neoadjuvant hormone therapy;
  • postradiation prostate biopsies

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The objective of this study was to evaluate the predictive value of prostate biopsies that were obtained 24 months after the completion of radiotherapy (RT) with respect to disease-free survival (DFS) in a randomized trial that compared 3 months versus 8 months of neoadjuvant hormone therapy before conventional dose external RT.

METHODS:

From February 1995 to June 2001, 378 men were randomized to receive either 3 months or 8 months of combined flutamide and goserelin before they received 66 Gray of RT at 4 participating centers. By risk group, 26% of patients were categorized as low risk, 43% were categorized as intermediate risk, and 31% were categorized as high risk. The 2 treatment arms were balanced in terms of age, Gleason score, clinical tumor classification, risk group, and presenting prostate-specific antigen level. The median follow-up for the patients who remained alive was 6.6 years (range, 1.6-10.1 years). Of 361 evaluable patients, 290 patients remained alive. Post-RT prostate biopsies were performed between 24 and 30 months after the completion of RT in 3 of the 4 centers. Biopsies that had residual tumor with severe treatment effect were considered indeterminate, and biopsies that had minimal or no treatment effect were considered positive.

RESULTS:

The 5-year rate of actuarial freedom from any failure for the 3-month arm versus the 8-month arm was 72% versus 75% (P = .18). The DFS for patients who had negative and indeterminate biopsies was similar. Two-year post-treatment biopsy status was a strong predictor of 5-year DFS rate (82% and 83% for negative and indeterminate biopsies, respectively, vs 27% for positive biopsies; P < .0001). Multivariate analysis indicated that biopsy status (P < .0001) and Gleason score (P < .0001) were the strongest determinates of biochemical DFS.

CONCLUSIONS:

Two-year post-RT prostate biopsies were strongly predictive of subsequent DFS. Biopsies with severe treatment effect were considered negative. Cancer 2009. © 2008 American Cancer Society.