Radiotherapy Timing Comparison

In the UK, radiotherapy is usually given after surgery only to those men who have a rising PSA level some time after surgery (known as deferred radiotherapy).

An alternative approach is to use radiotherapy routinely in all men shortly after surgery (known as early radiotherapy or adjuvant radiotherapy). Early radiotherapy might prevent the cancer from coming back but it might also bring unwanted side-effects.

The Radiotherapy Timing Comparison in RADICALS is comparing these two approaches. Men are divided at random into two groups:

  • men in one group will receive regular PSA monitoring. If their PSA starts to rise, even a little bit, radiotherapy would be given (deferred radiotherapy)
  • men in the other group will receive radiotherapy soon after their operation (early radiotherapy)

This will test whether using radiotherapy routinely soon after surgery is better than giving it later only to those men who develop a rising PSA level.

This is the design of the Radiotherapy Timing Comparison:

RTC design

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