Radiotherapy following prostate cancer surgery can safely be avoided for many men

Most men receiving surgery for localised and locally advanced prostate cancer can have radiotherapy safely removed from their initial treatment, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published in The Lancet.

The authors recommend that patients should be closely followed after surgery for treating localised and locally advanced prostate cancer. If the cancer shows early signs of coming back, men should be offered radiotherapy. They say that changing treatment policy in this way may offer the opportunity to spare many men radiotherapy and its associated side effects.

Dr Claire Vale, who led a systematic review and meta-analysis, from the MRC Clinical Trials Unit at University College London, UK, said: “Our findings suggest that following surgery, patients whose cancer is confined to the prostate, or has spread only to nearby tissues or organs, can safely be spared routine post-operative radiotherapy and its associated side effects. Radiotherapy need only be given to men if they show early signs that the cancer may be returning.”


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