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Welz, Stefan; Nyazi, Maximilian; Belka, Claus; Ganswindt, Ute: Surgery vs. radiotherapy in localized prostate cancer. Which is best? In: Radiation Oncology 2008, 3:23




Surgery and radiotherapy are currently accepted alternatives for the treatment of localized prostate cancer. In the absence of relevant randomized trials no decision regarding the superiority of any of the given approaches can be made. Up to now several cohort-based approaches indicate similar outcomes for both treatments. Based on a new population based approach, Merglen and co-workers recently concluded that surgery would offer the best chance of long-term control in terms of 10-year survival for T1-T3 prostate cancer patients. Unfortunately the strength of this trial is limited by several shortcomings. Most importantly, issues of radiation dosage have not been taken into account. In addition, several relevant parameters including Gleason score and PSA are not well balanced between the arms and the assignment to arbitrary risk groups does not reflect the real biological behaviour. Thus, the data provided do not support the strong conclusion issued by the authors. Based on the data available, surgery and radiotherapy still have to be considered as equally effective.