In the Prostate Cancer Intervention Versus Observation Trial (PIVOT), surgery was not associated with lower mortality compared with observation. However, the high competing mortality rate of approximately 33% after 10 yr among the PIVOT study population has raised concerns on the generalizability of these results. We investigated 4282 patients who underwent radical prostatectomy at our institution between 1992 and 2010 to determine which subgroups harbored a competing (non-prostate cancer) mortality risk comparable to that of PIVOT and tested several combinations of higher age and comorbidities ("worst case scenarios") to identify subgroups reaching or even superseding the competing mortality rate of the PIVOT population. The competing mortality rate of PIVOT was not reached till an age-adjusted Charlson score of 5 or higher (corresponding to an age of 70-79 yr with diabetes with end-organ damage). Only 8.9% of patients belonged to this high-risk subgroup, and only small subgroups comprising 1-5% patients superseded the competing mortality rate among the PIVOT study population. This data underline that the results of PIVOT should be used with great caution to exclude candidates for radical prostatectomy with comorbidities from curative treatment.
PATIENT SUMMARY: Only <10% of patients selected for radical prostatectomy reached the competing mortality rate of approximately 33% observed in the Prostate Cancer Intervention Versus Observation Trial (PIVOT). The results of PIVOT should be used with great caution to exclude patients with concomitant diseases who seem otherwise fit for radical prostatectomy from curative treatment.
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