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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2004 Jan 1;58(1):3-10.

Is there a favorable subset of patients with prostate cancer who develop oligometastases?

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642-8647, USA



To analyze, retrospectively, the patterns and behavior of metastatic lesions in prostate cancer patients treated with external beam radiotherapy and to investigate whether patients with < or =5 lesions had an improved outcome relative to patients with >5 lesions.


The treatment and outcome of 369 eligible patients with Stage T1-T3aN0-NXM0 prostate cancer were analyzed during a minimal 10-year follow-up period. All patients were treated with curative intent to a mean dose of 65 Gy. The full history of any metastatic disease was documented for each subject, including the initial site of involvement, any progression over time, and patient survival.


The overall survival rate for the 369 patients was 75% at 5 years and 45% at 10 years. The overall survival rate of patients who never developed metastases was 90% and 81% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. However, among the 74 patients (20%) who developed metastases, the survival rate at both 5 and 10 years was significantly reduced (p <0.0001). The overall survival rate for patients who developed bone metastases was 58% and 27% at 5 and 10 years, respectively, and patients with bone metastases to the pelvis fared worse compared with those with vertebral metastases. With regard to the metastatic number, patients with < or =5 metastatic lesions had superior survival rates relative to those with >5 lesions (73% and 36% at 5 and 10 years vs. 45% and 18% at 5 and 10 years, respectively; p = 0.02). In addition, both the metastasis-free survival rate and the interval measured from the date of the initial diagnosis of prostate cancer to the development of bone metastasis were statistically superior for patients with < or =5 lesions compared with patients with >5 lesions (p = 0.01 and 0.02, respectively). However, the survival rate and the interval from the date of diagnosis of bone metastasis to the time of death for patients in both groups were not significantly different, statistically (p = 0.17 and 0.27, respectively).


Patients with < or =5 metastatic sites had significantly better survival rates than patients with >5 lesions. Because existing sites of metastatic disease may be the primary sites of origin for additional metastases, our findings suggest that early detection and aggressive treatment of patients with a small number of metastatic lesions is worth testing as an approach to improving long-term survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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