Radiotherapy and androgen deprivation in combination after local surgery. A randomised controlled trial in prostate cancer

Which treatments work best after prostate cancer surgery?

What was this study about?

Around 10,000 men with prostate cancer have surgery to remove their prostate in the UK and Canada every year. There is currently no agreement on the best way of treating these men after surgery. Doctors take many different approaches. This trial aims to decide whether it’s best to give men radiotherapy straight after surgery, or wait until there are signs that the cancer may be growing again. The trial also aims to decide whether a man having radiotherapy should also have hormone therapy and if so, for how long.

What difference did this study make?

This trial had several overlapping comparisons which led to multiple main publications (see list below and for explanatory animations).

In the RADICALS HD comparison showed have 2 years of hormone therapy can delay prostate cancer spread in people who had surgery and radiotherapy when compared to having 6 months of hormone therapy. By contrast, the study found no benefit from adding six months of hormone therapy to radiotherapy, compared with radiotherapy alone, either in terms of cancer spread or survival. In the long term results of the RADICALS RT comparison, it showed men who have had prostate cancer surgery do not need immediate radiotherapy. For further information please see the related news items and the below links:

Type of study

Randomised trial

Contact details


Who funded the study?

The trial is being paid for by the Medical Research Council and the charity Cancer Research UK.

When did it take place?

The trial closed on 28 July 2022. All sites are now closed and archived.

Where did it take place?

Hospitals throughout the UK, Canada, Denmark and Ireland.

Who was included?

Men who have prostate cancer and surgery to remove their prostate.