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This article is the author's final published version in JAMA Network Open, Volume 6, Issue 9, September 2023, Pages e2335069.

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Copyright © 2023 Alexander GS et al. JAMA Network Open.

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License.


IMPORTANCE: As patients achieve years of survival after treatment for prostate cancer, the risk of biochemical failure (BF) or prostate cancer-specific death (PCSD) may evolve over time, with clinical relevance to both patients and clinicians.

OBJECTIVE: To determine conditional BF-free survival, PSCD, and overall survival estimates for patients with low- or intermediate-risk prostate cancer enrolled in the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 0126 and RTOG 0415 clinical trials. A secondary objective was to determine whether prognostic factors at diagnosis remain relevant at later points in follow-up.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A pooled secondary analysis of patients treated with external-beam radiotherapy alone and enrolled in the prospective randomized clinical trials RTOG 0126 and RTOG 0415 was performed. Patients included for analysis were enrolled between March 2002 and December 2009 with a median follow-up of 6.9 years. Overall survival was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method at various survivorship time points. Cumulative incidence was used to calculate BF rates using the Phoenix definition, as well as PCSD. Risk factors such as Gleason score, tumor (T) stage, prostate-specific antigen level, and the equivalent dose in 2 Gy fractions of prescribed dose were analyzed at different time points using multivariable Cox proportional hazards modeling. Data were analyzed from November 2021 to February 2023.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Conditional risks of BF and PCSD after completion of external-beam radiotherapy.

RESULTS: A total of 2591 patients (median [IQR] age, 69 [63-73] years) were included in the study with a mean (range) PSA level of 7.1 (4.7-8.9) ng/mL, 1334 patients (51.5%) with a Gleason score 6 disease, and 1706 patients (65.8%) with T1 disease. Rates of BF from time of treatment were 1.63% (95% CI, 1.20%-2.18%) at 1 year, 7.04% (95% CI, 6.09%-8.08%) at 3 years, 12.54% (95% CI, 11.28%-13.88%) at 5 years, and 22.32% (95% CI, 20.46%-24.24%) at 8 years. For patients surviving 1, 3, and 5 years without BF, the rates of BF in the next 5 years were 14.20% (95% CI, 12.80%-15.66%), 17.19% (95% CI, 15.34%-19.14%), and 18.85% (95% CI, 16.21%-21.64%), respectively. At the initial time point, the rate of PCSD in the next 5 years was 0.66% (95% CI, 0.39%-1.04%). For patients who achieved 1, 3, 5, and 8 years of survivorship, the rates of PCSD in the next 5 years were 1.16% (95% CI, 0.77-1.67) at 1 year, 2.42% (95% CI, 1.74%-3.27%) at 3 years, 2.88% (95% CI, 2.01%-3.99%) at 5 years, and 3.49% (95% CI, 0.98%-8.73%) at 8 years.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this secondary analysis of 2 randomized clinical trials of patients undergoing external beam radiotherapy for prostate cancer, the conditional risks of BF and death from prostate cancer increased with time for patients with low- and intermediate-risk prostate cancer treated with radiotherapy alone. These results could inform optimal trial design and may be helpful information for patients evaluated in follow-up.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT00033631; NCT00331773.

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