Is There a Detrimental Effect of Waiting for Radiotherapy for Patients With Localized Prostate Cancer?

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Objective:To evaluate a possible deleterious effect of waiting time to radiotherapy on the biochemical relapse (BR) of patients with localized prostate cancer.Patients and Methods:Patients included in this retrospective study had localized prostate adenocarcinoma treated with external-beam irradiation alone. Waiting time was defined as the interval between the first consultation and the first radiation treatment. BR was defined as 3 consecutive rises of prostatic specific antigen (PSA). Patients were split into 3 groups of waiting time: group A were treated within 40 days; group B waited 41 to 80 days; group C waited >80 days to receive radiotherapy. The effect of waiting on BR was estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards modeling was adjusted for known prognostic factors.Results:There were 289 patients who participated in the analysis. Median follow-up time was 6.1 year. Overall BR rate was 44% at 5 years. The median waiting time increased over the study period from 26 days in 1992 to 123 days in 2000. In adjusted multivariate analysis there was a nonsignificant higher risk of BR with waiting for 41 to 80 days (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.8; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.3–1.6) and for >80 days (HR = 0.6; 95% CI = 0.2–1.5) when compared with patients treated within 40 days after consultation.Conclusion:Delaying the start of radiotherapy showed little effect on the rate of BR in the group of 288 prostate cancer patients analyzed in this study.

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