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Prostate Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Treatment Option Overview for Prostate Cancer

Table 9. Treatment Options by Stage for Prostate Cancer continued...

Evidence (radical prostatectomy vs. watchful waiting or active surveillance):

  1. In a randomized clinical trial performed in Sweden in the pre-PSA screening era, only about 5% of the men in the trial had been diagnosed by PSA screening. Therefore, the men had more extensive local disease than is typically the case in men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States.[28,29]
    • The cumulative overall mortality at 15 years in the radical prostatectomy and watchful waiting study arms was 46.1% and 52.7%, respectively (absolute difference, 6.6%; 95% confidence interval [CI], -1.3–14.5; relative risk [RR]death of 0.75; 95% CI, 0.61–0.92).[29]; [3]Level of evidence: 1iiA
    • The cumulative incidence of prostate cancer deaths at 15 years was 14.6% versus 20.7% (absolute difference, 6.1%; 95% CI, 0.2–12.0; RRdeath from prostate cancer, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.44–0.87).[29]
    • In a post-hoc–subset analysis, the improvement in overall and prostate cancer-specific mortality associated with radical prostatectomy was restricted to men younger than 65 years.
  2. 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.[30] [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 (hazard ratio [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 value 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.
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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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