Hypofractionation for radiotherapy of prostate cancer using a low alfa/beta ratio--possible reasons for concerns? An example of five dimensional radiotherapy - Abstract

Department of Oncology, Sahlgrenska Hospital and Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.


It is very attractive, due to the assumed low alfa/beta ratio of prostate cancer (PC), to construct new treatment schedules for prostate cancer using only a few large fractions of radiation (hypofractionation). This will widen the therapeutic window since the ratio for PC might be lower than that of the organs at risk (OAR). PC is an extremely variable disease and often contains both highly and poorly differentiated cells. It is reasonable to assume that different cells have different patterns of radiosensitivity, i.e. alfa/beta ratios and proliferation. In this study we will simulate the effect on the outcome of the treatment with different fractionations and different ratios.

In this simulation we use an extension of the Linear Quadratic (LQ)/Biological Effective Dose (BED) formula called the dose volume inhomogeneity corrected BED (DVIC-BED). In the formula the tumour volume is divided in 50 subvolumes (step of 2%) and it is possible to calculate the relative effect of the treatment with different ratios (1.5, 4 and 6.5) in different subvolumes.

The simulations demonstrate that only a small portion (5-10%) of cells with a higher ratio will dramatically change the effect of the treatment. Increasing the total dose can compensate this, but this will on the other hand increase the dose to the OAR and also the risk for severe side effects.

These simulations highlight possible reasons for concerns about the use of hypofractionation for pathologically heterogeneous tumours, such as prostate cancer, and also demonstrate the need for testing new treatment schedules using both high and low ratios.

Written by:
Lennernäs B, Nilsson S, Levitt S.   Are you the author?

Reference: Acta Oncol. 2011 Jun;50 Suppl 1:111-5.
doi: 10.3109/0284186X.2011.562536

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21604950

UroToday.com Prostate Cancer Section



email news signup