Physician beliefs and practices for adjuvant and salvage radiation therapy after prostatectomy

Timothy N. Showalter, Nitin Ohri, Kristopher G. Teti, Kathleen A. Foley, Scott W. Keith, Edouard J. Trabulsi, Costas D. Lallas, Adam P. Dicker, Jean Hoffman-Censits, Laura T. Pizzi, Leonard G. Gomella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Purpose: Despite results of randomized trials that support adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) after radical prostatectomy (RP) for prostate cancer with adverse pathologic features (APF), many clinicians favor selective use of salvage RT. This survey was conducted to evaluate the beliefs and practices of radiation oncologists (RO) and urologists (U) regarding RT after RP. Methods and Materials: We designed a Web-based survey of post-RP RT beliefs and policies. Survey invitations were e-mailed to a list of 926 RO and 591 U. APF were defined as extracapsular extension, seminal vesicle invasion, or positive surgical margin. Differences between U and RO in adjuvant RT recommendations were evaluated by comparative statistics. Multivariate analyses were performed to evaluate factors predictive of adjuvant RT recommendation. Results: Analyzable surveys were completed by 218 RO and 92 U (overallresponse rate, 20%). Adjuvant RT was recommended based on APF by 68% of respondents (78% RO, 44% U, p <0.001). U were less likely than RO to agree that adjuvant RT improves survival and/or biochemical control (p < 0.0001). PSA thresholds for salvage RT were higher among U than RO (p < 0.001). Predicted rates of erectile dysfunction due to RT were higher among U than RO (p <0.001). On multivariate analysis, respondent specialty was the only predictor of adjuvant RT recommendations. Conclusions: U are less likely than RO to recommend adjuvant RT. Future research efforts should focus on defining the toxicities of post-RP RT and on identifying the subgroups of patients who will benefit from adjuvant vs. selective salvage RT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e233-e238
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adjuvant radiation therapy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostatectomy
  • Radiation oncologist
  • Urologist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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