Among men with nonmetastatic prostate cancer, prostatectomy appears to
reduce disease-specific mortality better than radiotherapy, an
observational study in BMJ finds.
Using the Swedish national prostate cancer registry, researchers
examined outcomes among nearly 35,000 men who underwent radical
prostatectomy or radiotherapy as their primary treatment between 1996
and 2010. Median follow-up was 5 years.
Among men with nonmetastatic disease, prostate cancer mortality was
significantly lower with surgery than with radiotherapy (1.4% vs.
4.9%). Men who were younger, had fewer comorbidities, and had higher-
risk cancer appeared to benefit most from surgery.
Among men with metastatic cancer, on the other hand, disease-specific
mortality did not differ according to treatment.
The authors, while acknowledging limitations to their research,
conclude: “Our study suggests that surgery might result in improved
outcomes compared with radiotherapy in terms of survival for men with
non-metastatic prostate cancer.”