Objective: To evaluate the outcome of patients with pathologic stage IV prostate cancer treated with androgen ablation plus external-beam radiation therapy. Patients and Methods: Sixty consecutive patients treated between August 1986 and February 1995 with androgen ablation plus radiation therapy for stage IV (T1-4 N1 M0) adenocarcinoma of the prostate were selected for outcome analysis in this retrospective study. Bilateral pelvic lymphadenectomy was performed in 56 patients (93%). The 4 remaining patients had pelvic adenopathy on computed tomography, which was confirmed histologically in all patients. The median pretreatment prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level was 28.8 ng/mL (mean, 55 ng/mL; range, 0.1-428 ng/mL). All patients received radiation therapy to the prostate, and 29 (48%) had pelvic node radiation. Biochemical failure was defined according to the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology criteria of 3 successive increases in the PSA level. Results: The median follow-up duration for surviving patients was 101.1 months (range, 20-134 months). Biochemical failure with (in 2 patients) or without (in 10 patients) clinically evident disease relapse was noted in 12 patients (20 %). Four additional patients (7 %) had clinical relapse without biochemical failure. Local recurrences were observed in 6 patients (10%), and this clinical impression was confirmed by biopsy in 4 patients. Thirteen patients (22%) died of causes related to prostate cancer. The biochemical relapse-free, clinical disease-free, overall, and cause-specific survival rates at 5 years were 82%, 84%, 76%, and 80%, respectively. Conclusions: This observational case series of patients treated with the combination of external-beam radiation therapy and permanent androgen ablation for pathologic stage IV prostate cancer suggests that the addition of androgen deprivation therapy to radiation therapy may improve disease outcome. In the absence of randomized trial results, these observations may be beneficial in clinical decision making.
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