Association of Radical Local Treatment with Mortality in Men with Very High-risk Prostate Cancer: A Semiecologic, Nationwide, Population-based Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Current guidelines recommend androgen deprivation therapy only for men with very high-risk prostate cancer (PCa), but there is little evidence to support this stance. Objective: To investigate the association between radical local treatment and mortality in men with very high-risk PCa. Design, setting, and participants: Semiecologic study of men aged <80 yr within the Prostate Cancer data Base Sweden, diagnosed in 1998-2012 with very high-risk PCa (local clinical stage T4 and/or prostate-specific antigen [PSA] level 50-200. ng/ml, any N, and M0). Men with locally advanced PCa (local clinical stage T3 and PSA level <50. ng/ml, any N, and M0) were used as positive controls. Intervention: Proportion of men who received prostatectomy or full-dose radiotherapy in 640 experimental units defined by county, diagnostic period, and age at diagnosis. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: PCa and all-cause mortality rate ratios (MRRs). Results and limitations: Both PCa and all-cause mortality were half as high in units in the highest tertile of exposure to radical local treatment compared with units in the lowest tertile (PCa MRR: 0.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.28-0.95; and all-cause MRR: 0.56; 95% CI, 0.33-0.92). The results observed for locally advanced PCa for highest versus lowest tertile of exposure were in agreement with results from randomized trials (PCa MRR: 0.75; 95% CI, 0.60-0.94; and all-cause MRR: 0.85; 95% CI, 0.72-1.00). Although the semiecologic design minimized selection bias on an individual level, the effect of high therapeutic activity could not be separated from that of high diagnostic activity. Conclusions: The substantially lower mortality in units with the highest exposure to radical local treatment suggests that radical treatment decreases mortality even in men with very high-risk PCa for whom such treatment has been considered ineffective. Patient summary: Men with very high-risk prostate cancer diagnosed and treated in units with the highest exposure to surgery or radiotherapy had a substantially lower mortality. The cause-specific and all-cause mortality among men diagnosed with very high-risk prostate cancer in experimental units with high use of radical local treatment were half the rates of men diagnosed in experimental units with low use.


  • Pär Stattin
  • Fredrik Sandin
  • Frederik Birkebæk Thomsen
  • Hans Garmo
  • David Robinson
  • Ingela Franck Lissbrant
  • Håkan Jonsson
  • Ola Bratt
External organisations
  • Norrland University Hospital
  • Uppsala University Hospital
  • University of Copenhagen
  • King's College London
  • Ryhov County Hospital, Jönköping
  • Sahlgrenska Academy
  • Umeå University
  • University of Cambridge
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology


  • Nationwide, PCBaSe, Population-based, Prostate cancer, Radical, Semiecologic, Treatment, Very high-risk
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-134
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number1
Early online date2016 Aug 5
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul
Publication categoryResearch