OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effects of neo-adjuvant hormone therapy (NAHT) given prior to radiation in patients with clinically localized adenocarcinoma of the prostate.
METHODS: Six hundred nine patients were treated between 1992 and 1997 with NAHT prior to radiation therapy. Clinical stage, presenting PSA and Gleason score were examined for influence on outcome. Time to post radiotherapy failure was defined from the first assessed PSA value over 4 ?g/L at follow-up. Radiation therapy was confined to the prostate and seminal vesicles. Median follow-up was 2.6 years.
RESULTS: PSA disease free survival (PDFS) decreased with increasing cancer risk factors (p <.0.0001). The overall duration of NAHT was significant with patients receiving >8 months having a lower failure rate than those on therapy for <3 months (p <0.0001). The PSA prior to starting radiation correlated with outcome, a PSA <=0.1 ?g\L having a better PDFS than those with a PSA >=4 ?g\L (P <0.0001). NAHT for >8 months gave improved PDFS in intermediate grade Gleason score 5-7, (n = 256, p <0.0001), high grade Gleason score 8-10 (n = 80, p =0.005), but not in low grade, Gleason score <=4.
Conclusion: Neo-adjuvant hormone therapy for >8 months offers prolonged PSA disease free survival in patients with less well differentiated tumors, Gleason score >4. Clinical trials are required to confirm this.