Variation in use of androgen suppression with external-beam radiotherapy for nonmetastatic prostate cancer

Samuel Swisher-Mcclure, Craig E. Pollack, John P. Christodouleas, Thomas J. Guzzo, Naomi B. Haas, Neha Vapiwala, Justin E. Bekelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe practice patterns associated with androgen suppression (AS) stratified by disease risk group in patients undergoing external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT) for localized prostate cancer. Methods and Materials: We identified 2,184 low-risk, 2,339 intermediate-risk, and 2,897 high-risk patients undergoing EBRT for nonmetastatic prostate cancer diagnosed between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2005, in the linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results - Medicare database. We examined the association of patient, clinical, and demographic characteristics with AS use by multivariate logistic regression. Results: The proportions of patients receiving AS for low-risk, intermediate-risk, and high-risk prostate cancer were 32.2%, 56.3%, and 81.5%, respectively. AS use among men in the low-risk disease category varied widely, ranging from 13.6% in Detroit to 47.8% in Kentucky. We observed a significant decline in AS use between 2004 and 2005 within all three disease risk categories. Men aged ≥75 years or with elevated comorbidity levels were more likely to receive AS. Conclusion: Our results identified apparent overuse and underuse of AS among men within the low-risk and high-risk disease categories, respectively. These results highlight the need for clinician and patient education regarding the appropriate use of AS. Practice patterns among intermediate-risk patients reflect the clinical heterogeneity of this population and underscore the need for better evidence to guide the treatment of these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-15
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2012


  • Androgen suppression
  • External-beam radiation
  • Health services research
  • Prostate cancer
  • Quality of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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