Medline: 3773098

Journal of Urology 136(6): 1238-1241, 1986.

Carcinoma of the prostate in the elderly: the therapeutic ratio of definitive radiotherapy.

Forman JD, Order SE, Zinreich ES, et al.


Withholding or reducing the intensity and aggressiveness of treatment for elderly cancer patients is a widespread tenet lacking substantiation in the literature. To assess the potential value of definitive external beam radiotherapy in the elderly, an analysis of the therapeutic ratio between local regional control and complications was performed in 34 prostatic cancer patients more than 75 years old. Median followup was 5 years (range 2 to 8 years). The 5-year actuarial local regional control rate was 91 per cent. The 5-year actuarial survival rate was 81 per cent and the 5-year survival rate free of disease was 63 per cent. There were no severe complications. Mild to moderate chronic complications occurred in 3 patients (9 per cent). This treatment resulted in an excellent therapeutic ratio, which demonstrates that external beam radiation can be given to elderly patients with acceptable morbidity and gratifying results.

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