The efficacy and safety of radical prostatectomy and radiotherapy in high-risk prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Zhipeng Wang 1, Yuchao Ni 1, Junru Chen 1, Guangxi Sun 1, Xingming Zhang 1, Jinge Zhao 1, Xudong Zhu 1, Haoran Zhang 1, Sha Zhu 1, Jindong Dai 1, Pengfei Shen 2, Hao Zeng 3

Main idea: prostatectomy could prolong the survival time of patients with high-risk prostate cancer; however, radiotherapy could delay the disease progression, and combined radiotherapy even brought preferable cancer-specific survival and similar overall survival compared to prostatectomy. Radiotherapy might be the prior choice for patients with high T stage or high Gleason score. Prostatectomy could lead to poorer urinary and sexual function, while bringing better performance in the bowel domain.


Background: The optimal treatment for patients with high-risk prostate cancer (PCa) remains a debate and selection of patients to receive proper therapy is still an unsettled question. This systematic review was conducted to compare the effectiveness of prostatectomy (RP) and radiotherapy (RT) in patients with high-risk PCa and to select candidates for optimal treatment.

Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched for eligible studies. We extracted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of all included studies. The primary outcomes were overall survival (OS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS); the secondary outcomes were biochemical recurrence-free survival (BRFS), metastasis-free survival (MFS) and clinical recurrence-free survival (CRFS). The meta-analysis was performed using Review Manager 5.3. Subgroup analyses were conducted according to Gleason score (GS), T stage and RT types. Quality of life (QoL) was compared with these two treatments.

Results: A total of 25 studies were included in this meta-analysis. Overall, RP showed more survival benefits than RT on CSS (P = 0.003) and OS (P = 0.002); while RT was associated with better BRFS (P = 0.002) and MFS (P = 0.004). Subgroup analyses showed RT was associated with similar or even better survival outcomes compared to RP in patients with high GS, high T stage or received external beam radiotherapy plus brachytherapy (EBRT + BT). As for QoL, RP was associated with poorer urinary and sexual function but better performance in the bowel domain.


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