Purpose: To compare short- and long-term effects of adjuvant treatment versus observation after surgery on health-related quality of life (HRQL) of prostate cancer patients. Patients and Methods: The Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) intergroup trial compared radical prostatectomy (RP) plus observation versus RP plus adjuvant radiation therapy (RT). Two-hundred seventeen of 425 therapeutic trial patients were eligible and registered to the HRQL study. Patients completed the SWOG Quality of Life Questionnaire (emotional, physical, social, and role function; general symptom status; treatment/disease-specific symptoms; and global HRQL [GHRQL]) at baseline, 6 weeks, 6 months, and annually for 5 years. Prespecified outcomes were three genitourinary symptoms (bowel function tenderness, frequent urination, and erectile dysfunction [ED]) and measures of physical and emotional function. Adjustments were made for the baseline score. Results: Patients receiving adjuvant RT reported worse bowel function (through approximately 2 years) and worse urinary function. There were no statistically significant differences for ED. GHRQL was initially worse for the RP+RT arm but improved over time and was better at the end of the period than the GHRQL reported for RP alone (treatment arm x time interaction, P = .0004). Symptom distress was significantly worse for the RP+RT arm compared with the RP alone arm, but the treatment arms did not differ with respect to other general measures of HRQL. Conclusion: The addition of RT to surgery resulted in more frequent urination, as well as early report of more bowel dysfunction, although bowel function differences disappeared over the 5-year period. The addition of RT did not negatively impact ED.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research