Most men who undergo radical prostatectomy can skip adjuvant radiotherapy and can be followed with observation alone. They can undergo early salvage radiotherapy if the disease shows sign of progressing, say experts reporting results from three similar clinical trials.
This approach would allow most men to avoid radiotherapy and its side effects altogether, the investigators emphasize.
The studies were published online September 28 in The Lancet and The Lancet Oncology.
“There is a strong case now that observation should be the standard approach after surgery and [that] radiotherapy should only be used if the cancer comes back,” commented Chris Parker, MD, the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Cancer Research, London, United Kingdom.
“Results suggest that radiotherapy is equally effective whether it is given to all men shortly after surgery or given later to those men with recurrent disease,” he said in a statement.
Parker was lead