BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in males in the UK and affects around 105 men for every 100,000.
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The role of radiotherapy in the management of prostate cancer significantly changed over the last few decades with developments in brachytherapy, external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), and image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT). One of the challenging factors of radiotherapy treatment of localized prostate cancer is the development of acute and late genitourinary and gastrointestinal toxicities. The recent European guidelines suggest that there is no consensus regarding the timing of high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy and EBRT. The schedules vary in different institutions where an HDR boost can be given either before or after EBRT. Few centers deliver HDR in between the fractions of EBRT.
OBJECTIVE: Assessment of acute genitourinary and gastrointestinal toxicities at various time points to better understand if the order in which treatment modality is delivered (ie, HDR brachytherapy or EBRT first) has an effect on the toxicity profile.
METHODS: Timing of HDR brachytherapy with EBRT in Prostate CAncer (THEPCA) is a single-center, open, randomized controlled feasibility trial in patients with intermediate and high-risk localized prostate cancer. A group of 50 patients aged 18 years old and over with histological diagnosis of prostate cancer (stages T1b-T3BNOMO), will be randomized to one of two treatment arms (ratio 1:1), following explanation of the study and informed consent. Patients in both arms of the study will be treated with HDR brachytherapy and EBRT, however, the order in which they receive the treatments will vary. In Arm A, patients will receive HDR brachytherapy before EBRT. In Arm B (control arm), patients will receive EBRT before HDR brachytherapy. Study outcomes will look at prospective assessment of genitourinary and gastrointestinal toxicities. The primary endpoint will be grade 3 genitourinary toxicity and the secondary endpoints will be all other grades of genitourinary toxicities (grades 1 and 2), gastrointestinal toxicities (grades 1 to 4), prostate-specific antigen (PSA) recurrence-free survival, overall survival, and quality of life.
RESULTS: Results from this feasibility trial will be available in mid-2016.
CONCLUSIONS: If the results from this feasibility trial show evidence that the sequence of treatment modality does affect the patients' toxicity profiles, then funding would be sought to conduct a large, multicenter, randomized controlled trial.
Palvai S, Harrison M, Shibu Thomas S, Hayden K, Green J, Anderson O, Romero L, Lodge R, Burns P, Ahmed I. Are you the author?
Southend University Hospital National Health Service Foundation Trust, National Health Service, Essex, United Kingdom.
Reference: JMIR Res Protoc. 2015 Apr 29;4(2):e49.