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The case for dose escalation versus adjuvant androgen deprivation therapy for intermediate risk prostate cancer
Radiation Program, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Apr  2006 (Vol.  13, Issue  21, Pages( 68 - 71)


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  • Patients with intermediate-risk prostate cancer have a significant risk of biochemical failure after treatment with external beam radiation therapy. Two strategies to improve outcomes are radiation dose escalation and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). This article discusses the evidence in favor of dose escalation. The case for radiation dose escalation has been established by several randomized studies, which show improved biochemical control (bNED) rates. Although late toxicity was also increased, it remains at clinically acceptable levels. The use of more focal methods of radiation, such as proton therapy and intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), allows safe dose escalation to 80 Gy. The role of adjuvant ADT is most clearly established in high-risk disease. Advantages in the intermediate-risk group are less pronounced. It is probable that therapeutic gain seen from dose escalation in intermediate-risk patients might allow them to be spared the toxicity of ADT and yet achieve good PSA and clinical control rates. Further randomized trials comparing and or combining the two treatment strategies are required.