Radiotherapy following radical prostatectomy.
Radiotherapy following radical prostatectomy has been controversial and no consensus has developed on the most appropriate use of radiotherapy after radical prostatectomy. In the last decade the results of three randomized controlled trials examining the effects of early radiotherapy after radical prostatectomy in patients with high-risk features (positive surgical margins, extracapsular extension and seminal vesical involvement) have been published. The results of these trials indicate that early radiotherapy changes the natural history of high-risk prostate cancer. Specifically, early radiotherapy reduces the risk of biochemical recurrence, improves clinical disease-free survival, decreases the utilization of salvage androgen suppression and, in the study with longest follow-up, early radiotherapy improves overall survival. This article will review the evidence, provide a commentary on the existing evidence, and describe key issues going forward (timing of radiotherapy, androgen suppression and radiotherapy techniques).
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