For men with prostate cancer, treatment with irradiation is associated with lasting prostate cancer control, with no recurrence seen from 15.5 to 25 years, according to a study.

Frank A. Critz, MD, of the Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia in Atlanta, and colleagues followed 3,546 consecutive hormone-naive men, treated with irradiation for prostate cancer (retropubic and later transperineal, followed by external beam radiation), from 1984 to 2000 (median follow-up, 11 years) to examine whether control of prostate cancer is durable.

The disease-free survival rate was 75% at 10 years and remained stable at 73% at 15, 20, and 25 years, Dr. Critz’s group reported in The Journal of Urology (2013;189:878-883). The longest time to recurrence was 15.5 years. Late recurrence, defined as recurrence after 10-year follow-up, occurred in 5% of the 313 men with recurrences who were treated 16 to 25 years earlier. The 15-year disease-free survival rate was 79% for men implanted by the transperineal method since 1995.

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“With this irradiation program, cancer control, defined using the recurrence definition for radical prostatectomy, was durable with no further recurrence between 15.5 and 25 years of follow-up,” the researchers wrote. “This study also suggests that at least 15 years of follow-up are necessary to fully evaluate any prostate cancer treatment.”

The investigators defined as cancer control as a PSA cutoff of less than 0.2 ng/mL.