BACKGROUND: The primary objective of the study was to identify early hematologic changes predictive for radiotherapy (RT)-associated genitourinary and gastrointestinal toxicity.
METHODS: In a group of 91 prostate cancer patients presenting for primary (n = 51) or postoperative (n = 40) curative RT, blood samples (blood count, acute phase proteins, and cytokines) were analyzed before (T1), three times during (T2-T4), and 6-8 weeks after (T5) radiotherapy. Before RT (baseline), on the last day (acute toxicity), a median of 2 months and 16 months (late toxicity) after RT, patients responded to a validated questionnaire (Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite). Acute score changes > 20 points and late changes > 10 points were considered clinically relevant.
RESULTS: Radiotherapy resulted in significant changes of hematologic parameters, with the largest effect on lymphocytes (mean decrease of 31-45 %) and significant dependence on target volume. C-reactive protein (CRP) elevation > 5 mg/l and hemoglobin level decrease ≥ 5 G/1 at T2 were found to be independently predictive for acute urinary toxicity (p < 0.01, respectively). CRP elevation was predominantly detected in primary prostate RT (p = 0.02). Early lymphocyte level elevation ≥ 0.3G/l at T2 was protective against late urinary and bowel toxicity (p = 0.02, respectively). Other significant predictive factors for late bowel toxicity were decreasing hemoglobin levels (cut-off ≥ 5 G/l) at T2 (p = 0.04); changes of TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor; p = 0.03) and ferritin levels (p = 0.02) at T5. All patients with late bowel toxicity had interleukin (IL)-6 levels < 1.5 ng/l at T2 (63 % without; p = 0.01).
CONCLUSION: Early hematologic changes during prostate cancer radiotherapy are predictive for late urinary and bowel toxicity.
Pinkawa M, Ribbing C, Djukic V, Klotz J, Holy R, Eble MJ. Are you the author?
Department of Radiation Oncology, RWTH Aachen University, Pauwelsstrasse 30, 52057, Aachen, Germany.
Reference: Strahlenther Onkol. 2015 May 26. Epub ahead of print.