ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Postradical Prostatectomy Irradiation in Prostate Cancer

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The role of postradical prostatectomy radiation therapy continues to evolve under the influence of new clinical data. In particular, 2 recently published or updated randomized trials have prompted a reevaluation of its utility in the adjuvant and salvage setting. The Southwest Oncology Group 8794 trial randomized 473 patients with stage T3a–T3b disease to adjuvant radiotherapy versus observation. With a median follow-up of 12.7 years, this trial demonstrates an improvement in metastasis-free (93/214 vs. 114/211, P = 0.016) and overall survival (88 vs. 110 deaths, P = 0.023) favoring adjuvant radiotherapy. The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer 22911 study of 972 patients with at least 1 “high risk” feature at surgery (extracapsular extension, positive surgical margins, seminal vesicle involvement) randomized to immediate adjuvant radiotherapy (60 Gy) versus observation. The freedom from biochemical failure at 5 years was 53% in the observation alone group versus 74% in the adjuvant radiotherapy group (P < 0.0001). This review summarizes the current evidence-based literature supporting the use of postradical prostatectomy radiation therapy in various common clinical settings and will serve to illustrate the appropriateness of postoperative radiotherapy by reviewing its implementation in a variety of commonly occurring clinical scenarios. It is intended to serve both as a guideline for the practicing radiation oncologist and a resource for further learning.

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