To understand the impact of radiotherapy on the development of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) among elderly prostate cancer patients.
We performed a retrospective cohort study of elderly prostate cancer patients diagnosed during 1999-2011 by using the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare linked database. Competing risk analyses adjusting for patient characteristics were conducted to assess the impact of radiotherapy on the development of subsequent MDS/AML, compared with surgery.
Of 32,112 prostate cancer patients, 14,672 underwent radiotherapy, and 17,440 received surgery only. The median follow-up was 4.68 years. A total of 157 (0.47%) prostate cancer patients developed subsequent MDS or AML, and the median time to develop MDS/AML was 3.30 (range: 0.16-9.48) years. Compared with prostate cancer patients who received surgery only, patients who underwent radiotherapy had a significantly increased risk of developing MDS/AML (hazard ratio [HR] =1.51, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.07-2.13). When radiotherapy was further categorized by modalities (brachytherapy, conventional conformal radiotherapy, and intensity-modulated radiotherapy [IMRT]), increased risk of second MDS/AML was only observed in the IMRT group (HR = 1.66, 95% CI: 1.09-2.54).
Our findings suggest that radiotherapy for prostate cancer increases the risk of MDS/AML, and the impact may differ by modality. Additional studies with longer follow-up are needed to further clarify the role of radiotherapy in the development of subsequent myeloid malignancies. A better understanding may help patients, physicians, and other stakeholders make more informed treatment decisions. Prostate © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.