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PLoS One. 2016 Jan 25;11(1):e0147191. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147191. eCollection 2016.

Does Radiotherapy for the Primary Tumor Benefit Prostate Cancer Patients with Distant Metastasis at Initial Diagnosis?

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Departments of Radiation Oncology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Urology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Treatment of the primary tumor reportedly improves survival in several types of metastatic cancer. We herein evaluated the efficacy and toxicity of radiotherapy for the primary tumor in prostate cancer with metastasis.


The study cohort included 140 men with metastatic prostate cancer at initial diagnosis. Metastatic sites were divided into 4 groups as follows: solitary bone, 2-4 bones, ≥5 bones, and visceral organs. Patient, tumor, and treatment characteristics, and clinical outcomes were compared between patients treated with (prostate radiotherapy [PRT] group) or without radiotherapy to the primary tumor.


Patients in PRT group presented with a statistically significantly younger age (p = .02), whereas other characteristics showed no significant difference. Overall survival (OS) and biochemical failure-free survival (BCFFS) were improved in PRT patients (3-year OS: 69% vs. 43%, p = 0.004; 3-year BCFFS: 52% vs. 16%, p = 0.002). Multivariate analysis identified PRT as a significant predictor of both OS (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.43, p = 0.015). None of the 38 PRT patients experienced severe (grade ≥3) genitourinary or gastrointestinal toxicity.


Our data suggest that radiotherapy to the primary tumor was associated with improved OS and BCFFS in metastatic prostate cancer. The results of this study warrant prospective controlled clinical trials of this approach in stage IV prostate cancer patients with limited extent of bone metastasis and good performance status.

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