Survival advantage from higher-dose radiation therapy for clinically localized prostate cancer treated on the radiation therapy oncology group trials

Richard Valicenti, Jiandong Lu, Miljenko Pilepich, Sucha Asbell, David Grignon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

140 Scopus citations


Purpose: We evaluated the effect of external-beam radiation therapy on disease-specific survival (death from causes related to prostate cancer) and overall survival in men with clinically localized prostate cancer. Methods: From 1975 and 1992, 1,465 men with clinically localized prostate cancer received radiation therapy on four Radiation Therapy Oncology Group phase III randomized trials and were pooled for this analysis. No one received androgen-deprivation therapy with his initial treatment. All original histology had central pathologic review for grading using the Gleason classification system. Total delivered radiation dose ranged from 60 to 78 Gy (median, 68.4 Gy). The median follow-up time was 8 years. Results: a Cox regression model revealed that Gleason score was an independent predictor of disease-specific survival and overall survival. The 10-year disease-specific survival rates by Gleason score were as follows: score of 2 through 5, 85%; score of 6, 79%; score of 7, 62%; and score of 8 through 10, 43%. Stratifying outcome by this important prognostic factor revealed that higher radiation dose was a significant predictor for improved disease-specific survival and overall survival only for those patients whose cancers had Gleason scores of 8 through 10 (P < .05). After adjusting for clinical T state, nodal status, and age, treating with a higher radiation dose was associated with a 29% lower relative risk of death from prostate cancer and 27% reduced mortality rate (P < .05). Conclusion: These data demonstrate that higher-dose radiation therapy can significantly reduce the risk of dying from prostate cancer in men with clinically localized disease. This survival benefit is restricted to men with poorly differentiated cancers. (C) 2000 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2740-2746
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this