With the advent of modern radiation techniques, we have been able to deliver a higher prescribed radiotherapy dose for localized prostate cancer without severe adverse reactions.
We reviewed and analyzed the change of toxicity profiles of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) from the literature. Late rectal bleeding is the main adverse effect, and an incidence of >20% of Grade ≥2 adverse events was reported for 2D conventional radiotherapy of up to 70 Gy. 3D conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) was found to reduce the incidence to ∼10%. Furthermore, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) reduced it further to a few percentage points. However, simultaneously, urological toxicities were enhanced by dose escalation using highly precise external radiotherapy. We should pay more attention to detailed quality of life (QOL) analysis, not only with respect to rectal bleeding but also other specific symptoms (such as urinary incontinence and impotence), for two reasons: (i) because of the increasing number of patients aged >80 years, and (ii) because of improved survival with elevated doses of radiotherapy and/or hormonal therapy; age is an important prognostic factor not only for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) control but also for adverse reactions. Those factors shift the main focus of treatment purpose from survival and avoidance of PSA failure to maintaining good QOL, particularly in older patients. In conclusion, the focus of toxicity analysis after radiotherapy for prostate cancer patients is changing from rectal bleeding to total elaborate quality of life assessment.
Yamazaki H, Nakamura S, Nishimura T, Yoshida K, Yoshioka Y, Koizumi M, Ogawa K. Are you the author?
Department of Radiology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, 465 Kajiicho Kawaramachi Hirokoji, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan; Department of Radiology, Osaka Medical College, 2-7 Daigaku-machi, Takatsuki-City, Osaka, 569-8686, Japan; Department of Radiation Oncology, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Yamadaoka 2-2, Suita, 565-0871 Osaka, Japan.
Reference: J Radiat Res. 2014 Sep 8. pii: rru061.