ORLANDO—Radiotherapy for clinically staged node positive prostate cancer (PCa) is associated with improved PCa-specific and overall survival, according to investigators.

Jonathan D. Tward, MD, PhD, and Dennis C. Shrieve, MD, PhD, of the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute, reviewed data on 1,100 patients with clinically staged node positive PCa. Of these, 377 underwent external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), 20 underwent EBRT and brachytherapy, and 703 did not receive radiation.

No patient had surgery or metastatic disease. The researchers were unable to determine whether or not patients had androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Radiotherapy with ADT is the standard of care at the University of Utah, they noted.

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Compared with patients who did not have radiation, those who did had a 31% decreased risk of PCa-specific mortality and 30% decreased risk of overall mortality, after adjusting multiple variables, Dr. Tward reported at the 2011 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

In addition, study revealed that eight patients would need to be treated with radiation to prevent one PCa death, Dr. Tward said. Radiotherapy should be strongly considered for all men with clinically staged node positive, non-metastatic PCa, he told listeners, adding that this approach is consistent with guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Drs. Tward and Shrieve obtained data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registry for the period 1988-2006.