NRG Oncology Trial Does Not Improve Overall Survival, but Shows Improvements in Several Clinical Outcomes for Men with Intermediate-Risk Prostate Cancer

April 27 2023

Results from the phase 3 NRG Oncology RTOG 0815 clinical study comparing dose-escalated radiotherapy (RT) alone to dose-escalated RT with short-term androgen deprivation (STAD) did not meet its primary endpoint of improving overall survival for men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer through the addition of STAD. Although this study did not meet its primary aim, the addition of STAD to dose-escalated RT was associated with improvements in rates of biochemical failure, distant metastases, and prostate cancer-specific mortality. These results were recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“While NRG-RTOG 0815 was able to demonstrate an improvement in some other clinical outcomes for this patient population, it is important to note that these improvements need to be weighed against the increased risk of adverse advents discovered on this trial with the addition of STAD which have the potential to negatively impact patients’ quality of life,” stated Daniel J. Krauss, MD, of the William Beaumont Hospital, Oakland University School of Medicine, and the lead author of the NRG-RTOG 0815 manuscript. “These impacts were prospectively quantified in an accompanying patient-reported quality of life study led by Dr. Ben Movsas, which will contribute greatly to patients’ ability to make informed decisions regarding whether or not to add STAD to their radiation treatment.”

NRG-RTOG 0815 accrued 1,492 patients with intermediate risk prostate cancer and randomly assigned patients to receive either dose-escalated RT alone (external beam RT to 79.2 Gy, or external beam to 45 Gy with brachytherapy boost) or dose-escalated RT with 6 months of STAD with LHRH agonist/antagonist therapy plus anti-androgen.

At the median follow up of 6.3 years, 5-year overall survival rates were 90% for Arm 1 versus 91% in Arm 2 [HR 0.85 (95% CI 0.65-1.11); p=0.22]. The addition of STAD in Arm 2 resulted in reduced PSA failure (HR 0.52, p < 0.001), distant metastasis (HR 0.25, p < 0.001), prostate cancer-specific mortality (HR 0.10, p = 0.007), and salvage therapy use (HR 0.62, p = 0.025). Acute grade three or greater adverse events occurred in 2% of patients in Arm 1 and 12% of patients in Arm 2 (p<0.001). Cumulative incidence of late grade > 3 adverse events by 10 years was 16% in Arm 1 and 17% in Arm 2 (p=0.27).

“Further research is ongoing to better identify subsets of these patients who may be able to reduce their risk of metastatic disease utilizing ADT without the toxicity reflected in this trial data,” Dr. Krauss added.

Supported by grants UG1CA189867 (NCORP), U10CA180868 (NRG Operations), U24CA180803 (IROC), and U10CA180822 (SDMC) from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).


Krauss DJ, Karrison T, Martinez AA, Morton G, Yan D, Bruner DW, Movsas B, Elshaikh M, Citrin D, Hershatter B, Michalski JM, Efstathiou JA, Currey A, Kavadi VS, Cury FL, Lock M, Raben A, Seaward SA, El-Gayed A, Rodgers JP, Sandler HM. Dose-Escalated Radiotherapy Alone or in Combination With Short-Term Androgen Deprivation for Intermediate-Risk Prostate Cancer: Results of a Phase III Multi-Institutional Trial. J Clin Oncol. 2023 Apr 27:JCO2202390. doi: 10.1200/JCO.22.02390. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37104748.

About NRG Oncology

NRG Oncology conducts practice-changing, multi-institutional clinical and translational research to improve the lives of patients with cancer. Founded in 2012, NRG Oncology is a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit corporation that integrates the research of the legacy National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), and Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) programs. The research network seeks to carry out clinical trials with emphases on gender-specific malignancies, including gynecologic, breast, and prostate cancers, and on localized or locally advanced cancers of all types. NRG Oncology’s extensive research organization comprises multidisciplinary investigators, including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, physicists, pathologists, and statisticians, and encompasses more than 1,300 research sites located world-wide with predominance in the United States and Canada. NRG Oncology is supported primarily through grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and is one of five research groups in the NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network.

Stay current with science. Sign up for our newsletter.

Support NRG Oncology.
Help Our Cause.

We are a leading protocol organizations within the National Clinical Trials Network and we seek to improve the lives of cancer patients by conducting practice-changing, multi-institutional clinical and translational research. Learn More

Donate Today

NRG Oncology Foundation, Inc, is a nonprofit, tax-exempt foundation. Donations to NRG Oncology help us conduct this important mission, and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.