The risk of prostate cancer (PCa)-specific mortality may not increase regardless of increasing comorbidities and the type of radical treatment received, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1

Radical prostatectomy (RP) and radical radiotherapy (RT) are linked with a decreased PCa-specific mortality risk, though radical therapy is recommended only for patients who have a greater than 10-year life expectancy. The effect of treatment and comorbidities on PCa-specific mortality is not, however, fully understood.

For this observational study, researchers tracked the outcomes of 118,543 Swedish patients diagnosed with PCa over a median period of 8.3 years. Patients were stratified by various patient and tumor characteristics, and by whether they received RP, RT, or watchful waiting (WW).

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The authors of the study initially observed that increased comorbidity increased the risk of death of PCa-specific and other-cause mortality.

But, after adjusting for patient and tumor characteristics, more comorbidities were associated with other-cause mortality only, not PCa-specific mortality.

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Upon further adjustment for treatment type, the findings confirmed that a greater number of comorbidities had no effect on PCa-specific mortality, but did affect other-cause mortality.

The authors of the study concluded that “differences in oncologic outcome that were observed in population-based comparative effectiveness studies of PCa treatments do not seem to be a result of the varying distribution of comorbidity among treatment groups.”


  1. Rajan P, Sooriakumaran P, Nyberg T, et al. Effect of comorbidity on prostate cancer-specific mortality: a prospective observational study. J Clin Oncol. 2017 Sep 20. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2016.70.7794 [Epub ahead of print]