INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this retrospective review was to evaluate concordance with evidence-based quality indicator guidelines for prostate cancer patients treated radically in a 'generalist' (as distinct from 'sub-specialist') centre.
We were concerned that the quality of treatment may be lower in a generalist centre. If so, the findings could have relevance for many radiotherapy departments that treat prostate cancer.
METHODS: Two hundred fifteen consecutive patients received external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and/or brachytherapy between 1.10.11 and 30.9.12. Treatment was deemed to be in line with evidence-based guidelines if the dose was: (i) 73.8-81 Gy at 1.8-2.0 Gy/fraction for EBRT alone (eviQ guidelines); (ii) 40-50 Gy (EBRT) for EBRT plus high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy boost (National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines); and (iii) 145 Gy for low dose rate (LDR) I-125 monotherapy (NCCN). Additionally, EBRT beam energy should be ≥6 MV using three-dimensional conformal RT (3D-CRT) or intensity-modulated RT (IMRT), and high-risk patients should receive neo-adjuvant androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) (eviQ/NCCN). Treatment of pelvic nodes was also assessed.
RESULTS: One hundred four high-risk, 84 intermediate-risk and 27 low-risk patients (NCCN criteria) were managed by eight of nine radiation oncologists. Concordance with guideline doses was confirmed in: (i) 125 of 136 patients (92%) treated with EBRT alone; (ii) 32 of 34 patients (94%) treated with EBRT + HDR BRT boost; and (iii) 45 of 45 patients (100%) treated with LDR BRT alone. All EBRT patients were treated with ≥6 MV beams using 3D-CRT (78%) or IMRT (22%). 84%, 21% and 0% of high-risk, intermediate-risk and low-risk patients received ADT, respectively. Overall treatment modality choice (including ADT use and duration where assessable) was concordant with guidelines for 176/207 (85%) of patients.
CONCLUSION: The vast majority of patients were treated concordant with evidence-based guidelines suggesting that, within the limits of the selected criteria, prostate cancer patients are unlikely to be disadvantaged by receiving radiotherapy in this 'generalist' centre.
Freeman AR, Roos DE, Kim L. Are you the author?
Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
Reference: J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2014 Oct 27. Epub ahead of print.