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Comparison of Response to Definitive Radiotherapy for Localized Prostate Cancer in Black and White Men: A Meta-analysis.

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Black men have a 2-fold increased risk of dying from prostate cancer compared with White men. However, race-specific differences in response to initial treatment remain unknown.


To compare overall and treatment-specific outcomes of Black and White men with localized prostate cancer receiving definitive radiotherapy (RT).

Data sources

A systematic search was performed of relevant published randomized clinical trials conducted by the NRG Oncology/Radiation Therapy Oncology Group between January 1, 1990, and December 31, 2010. This meta-analysis was performed from July 1, 2019, to July 1, 2021.

Study selection

Randomized clinical trials of definitive RT for patients with localized prostate cancer comprising a substantial number of Black men (self-identified race) enrolled that reported on treatment-specific and overall outcomes.

Data extraction and synthesis

Individual patient data were obtained from 7 NRG Oncology/Radiation Therapy Oncology Group randomized clinical trials evaluating definitive RT with or without short- or long-term androgen deprivation therapy. Unadjusted Fine-Gray competing risk models, with death as a competing risk, were developed to evaluate the cumulative incidences of end points. Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate differences in all-cause mortality and the composite outcome of distant metastasis (DM) or death. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guideline was followed.

Main outcomes and measures

Subdistribution hazard ratios (sHRs) of biochemical recurrence (BCR), DM, and prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM).


A total of 8814 patients (1630 [18.5%] Black and 7184 [81.5%] White) were included; mean (SD) age was 69.1 (6.8) years. Median follow-up was 10.6 (IQR, 8.0-17.8) years for surviving patients. At enrollment, Black men were more likely to have high-risk disease features. However, even without adjustment, Black men were less likely to experience BCR (sHR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.58-0.91), DM (sHR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.58-0.91), or PCSM (sHR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.54-0.97). No significant differences in all-cause mortality were identified (HR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.92-1.07). Upon adjustment, Black race remained significantly associated with improved BCR (adjusted sHR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.72-0.88; P < .001), DM (adjusted sHR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.55-0.87; P = .002), and PCSM (adjusted sHR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.50-0.93; P = .01).

Conclusions and relevance

The findings of this meta-analysis suggest that Black men enrolled in randomized clinical trials present with more aggressive disease but have better BCR, DM, and PCSM with definitive RT compared with White men, suggesting that other determinants of outcome, such as access to care, are important factors of achieving racial equity.

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