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Prostate Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Stage I Prostate Cancer Treatment


Radical prostatectomy has been compared with watchful waiting or active surveillance. (Refer to the Radical prostatectomy compared with other treatment options section in the Treatment Option Overview for Prostate Cancer section of this summary for more information about radical prostatectomy compared with watchful waiting or active surveillance.)

Evidence (radical prostatectomy compared with watchful waiting):

  1. The Prostate Intervention Versus Observation Trial (PIVOT-1 [NCT00002606]) is the only published randomized trial conducted in the PSA screening era that directly compared radical prostatectomy with watchful waiting. From November 1994 through January 2002, 731 men aged 75 years or younger with localized prostate cancer (stage T1–2, NX, M0, with a blood PSA <50 ng/ml) and a life expectancy of at least 10 years were randomly assigned to radical prostatectomy versus watchful waiting.[14][Levels of evidence 1iiA, 1iiB]
    • About 50% of the men had nonpalpable, screen-detected disease.
    • After a median follow-up of 10 years (range up to about 15 years), the all-cause mortality was 47.0% versus 49.9% in the prostatectomy and watchful-waiting study arms, respectively, a difference that was not statistically significant (HR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.71–1.08; P = .22). Prostate cancer-specific mortality was 5.8% versus 8.4%, and it also was not statistically significant (HR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.36–1.09; P = .09].
    • Subgroup analyses showed a statistically significant reduction in overall mortality in the group of men with a baseline PSA greater than 10 ng/ml (61 of 126 men vs. 77 of 125 men; HR, 0.67) but no difference in men with a PSA of 10 ng/ml or less (110 of 238 men vs. 101 of 241 men; HR, 1.03; P for interaction = .04). Because the test for interaction was not adjusted for the numerous subgroup comparisons, it should be interpreted with caution.
    • Although there was a trend favoring prostatectomy, for prostate cancer-specific mortality, in men with a PSA greater than 10 ng/ml, the numbers were very small (7 of 126 men vs. 16 of 125 men for a PSA >10 ng/ml; 14 of 238 men vs. 15 of 241 men with lower PSA levels), and the interaction with the PSA level was not statistically significant (P = .11). There were no statistically significant differences in efficacy associated with prostatectomy by age (<65 years vs. ≥65 years), Gleason score, Charlson comorbidity status, race, or performance score.

External-beam radiation therapy (EBRT)

EBRT is another treatment option used with curative intent.[15,16,17,18,19] Definitive radiation therapy should be delayed 4 to 6 weeks after TURP to reduce the incidence of stricture.[20] Adjuvant hormonal therapy should be considered for patients with bulky T2b to T2c tumors.[21,22]


WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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