PSA-Detected Prostate Cancer: Early Treatment Doesn’t Impact Death Rate


A new study from the New England Journal of Medicine found that regardless of treatment methods, the risk of dying from early prostate cancer in the next 10 years is low and nearly identical. WSJ’s Lee Hawkins explains.

Researchers compared active monitoring, radical prostatectomy, and external-beam radiotherapy for the treatment of clinically localized prostate cancer in a total of 82,429 men, age 50 to 69 years of age that received a PSA test.

When 2664 men received a diagnosis of localized prostate cancer, 1643 of the men agreed to undergo randomization for a medical response to the diagnosis as follows …

545 men underwent active monitoring,

553 underwent surgery,

545 underwent radiotherapy.

The primary primary focus of the study was the number of prostate-cancer deaths at a median of 10 years of follow-up. The secondary focus of the study included the rates of disease progression, metastases, and all-cause deaths.

Of the 2664 men, 17 died. Eight of those men were in the active monitoring category. In the surgery group, five men died. In the radiotherapy group, four men died.

Higher rates of disease progression and metastasis were seen in the active-monitoring group.

Freddie C. Hamdy, F.R.C.S.(Urol.), F.Med.Sci., Jenny L. Donovan, Ph.D., et al. 10-Year Outcomes after Monitoring, Surgery, or Radiotherapy for Localized Prostate Cancer The New England Journal of Medicine September 14, 2016.




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