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The role of radical prostatectomy and definitive external beam radiotherapy in combined treatment for high-risk prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis

1 Department of Urology, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha 410011, China
2 T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, USA

Correspondence Address:
Yin-Huai Wang,
Department of Urology, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha 410011
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aja.aja_111_19

PMID: 31603140

The first-line treatment options for high-risk prostate cancer (PCa) are definitive external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) with or without androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and radical prostatectomy (RP) with or without adjuvant therapies. However, few randomized trials have compared the survival outcomes of these two treatments. To systematically evaluate the survival outcomes of high-risk PCa patients treated with EBRT- or RP-based therapy, a comprehensive and up-to-date meta-analysis was performed. A systematic online search was conducted for randomized or observational studies that investigated biochemical relapse-free survival (bRFS), cancer-specific survival (CSS), and/or overall survival (OS), in relation to the use of RP or EBRT in patients with high-risk PCa. The summary hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated under the random effects models. We identified heterogeneity between studies using Q tests and measured it using I2 statistics. We evaluated publication bias using funnel plots and Egger's regression asymmetry tests. Seventeen studies (including one randomized controlled trial [RCT]) of low risk of bias were selected and up to 9504 patients were pooled. When comparing EBRT-based treatment with RP-based treatment, the pooled HRs for bRFS, CSS, and OS were 0.40 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.24–0.67), 1.36 (95% CI: 0.94–1.97), and 1.39 (95% CI: 1.18–1.62), respectively. Better OS for RP-based treatment and better bRFS for EBRT-based treatment have been identified, and there was no significant difference in CSS between the two treatments. RP-based treatment is recommended for high-risk PCa patients who value long-term survival, and EBRT-based treatment might be a promising alternative for elderly patients.

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