Article claiming lower mortality for surgery verses radiotherapy could be misleading
December 19, 2015
A recent article from a cancer centre in Canada claims surgery resulted in lower mortality for surgery vs radiotherapy in clinically localised prostate cancer patients. The Canadian meta-analysis studied 19 papers. The Prostate Cancer Results Study Group (PCRSG) involving leading centres and experts around the world have reviewed 25,000 papers from 2000-2012 and have included 1066 papers in their results. The results of this extensive analysis show a benefit of radiotherapy and particularly low dose rate (seed) brachytherapy for patients either alone or in combination with other treatments across all the risk groups compared to surgery. More studies are required to understand the difference in these findings so patients are appropriately guided about their treatment options. The side effect of treatments also need to be taken into account so that treatments with excellent outcomes and relatively low side effects are not overlooked.