Amélie Benoist Khakurel/Science Source

Aggressive approaches to early prostate cancer don’t appear to increase survival

The much-awaited results of a large randomized trial comparing three approaches to localized prostate cancer were published in The New England Journal of Medicine today. Strikingly, the treatment approach didn’t make a difference to 10-year survival: Ninety-nine percent of the more than 1600 men in the trial were alive after a decade, whether they had initially received radical surgery, radiation, or active monitoring, which meant no immediate therapy, but intervention as needed. What did differ between the groups was the spread of the disease. Men assigned to the active monitoring arm were more likely to see their cancers, initially confined to the prostate gland, spread to other organs and bones.