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J Clin Oncol. 1997 Mar;15(3):1013-21.

Phase III trial of androgen suppression using goserelin in unfavorable-prognosis carcinoma of the prostate treated with definitive radiotherapy: report of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Protocol 85-31.

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Catherine McAuley Health Systems, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.



Although androgen suppression results in a tumor response/remission in the majority of patients with carcinoma of the prostate, its potential value as an adjuvant has not been substantiated.


In 1987, the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) initiated a randomized phase III trial of adjuvant goserelin in definitively irradiated patients with carcinoma of the prostate. A total of 977 patients had been accessioned to the study. Of these, 945 remained analyzable: 477 on the adjuvant arm and 468 on the observation arm.


Actuarial projections show that at 5 years, 84% of patients on the adjuvant goserelin arm and 71% on the observation arm remain without evidence of local recurrence (P < .0001). The corresponding figures for freedom from distant metastases and disease-free survival are 83% versus 70% (P < .001) and 60% and 44% (P < .0001). If prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level greater than 1.5 ng is included as a failure (after > or = 1 year), the 5-year disease-free survival rate on the adjuvant goserelin arm is 53% versus 20% on the observation arm (P < .0001). The 5-year survival rate (for the entire population) is 75% on the adjuvant arm versus 71% on the observation arm (P = .52). However, in patients with centrally reviewed tumors with a Gleason score of 8 to 10, the difference in actuarial 5-year survival (66% on the adjuvant goserelin arm v 55% on the observation arm) reaches statistical significance (P = .03).


Application of androgen suppression as an adjuvant to definitive radiotherapy has been associated with a highly significant improvement in local control and freedom from disease progression. At this point, with a median follow-up time of 4.5 years, a significant improvement in survival has been observed only in patients with centrally reviewed tumors with a Gleason score of 8 to 10.

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