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Editor's Correspondence
June 23, 2008

“Short- and Long-term Mortality With Localized Prostate Cancer”: Errors and Omissions?

Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(12):1351. doi:10.1001/archinte.168.12.1351

Determining the best form of treatment for men with localized prostate cancer continues to be controversial and challenging. The recent report by Swiss investigators published in the Archives did not shine light on this issue.1 This “population-based cohort” consisted of 844 men treated by prostatectomy, radiotherapy, watchful waiting, hormone therapy, and other types of therapy between 1989 and 1998. The authors concluded that “ . . . at 10 years, patients treated with radiotherapy or watchful waiting had a significantly increased risk of death from prostate cancer compared with patients who underwent prostatectomy.”1(p1944) They declared, “ . . . surgery offers the best chance of long-term prostate cancer–specific survival, in particular for younger patients . . . .”1(p1944) In the allotted space, I can only touch on a few of the many serious shortcomings of this study.