Hydrogel injection reduces rectal toxicity after radiotherapy for localized prostate cancer

Injection of a hydrogel spacer before prostate cancer radiotherapy (RT) is known to reduce the dose to the rectal wall. Clinical results from the patient's perspective are needed to better assess a possible benefit.

A group of 167 consecutive patients who received prostate RT during the years 2010 to 2013 with 2‑Gy fractions up to 76 Gy (without hydrogel, n = 66) or 76-80 Gy (with hydrogel, n = 101) were included. The numbers of interventions resulting from bowel problems during the first 2 years after RT were compared. Patients were surveyed prospectively before RT, at the last day of RT, and at a median of 2 and 17 months after RT using a validated questionnaire (Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite).

Baseline patient characteristics were well balanced. Treatment for bowel symptoms (0 vs. 11 %; p < 0.01) and endoscopic examinations (3 vs. 19 %; p < 0.01) were performed less frequently with a spacer. Mean bowel function scores did not change for patients with a spacer in contrast to patients without a spacer (mean decrease of 5 points) >1 year after RT in comparison to baseline, with 0 vs. 12 % reporting a new moderate/big problem with passing stools (p < 0.01). Statistically significant differences were found for the items "loose stools", "bloody stools", "painful bowel movements" and "frequency of bowel movements".

Spacer injection is associated with a significant benefit for patients after prostate cancer RT.

Strahlentherapie und Onkologie : Organ der Deutschen Rontgengesellschaft ... [et al]. 2016 Sep 08 [Epub ahead of print]

Michael Pinkawa, Vanessa Berneking, Liane König, Dilini Frank, Marilou Bretgeld, Michael J Eble

Department of Radiation Oncology, RWTH Aachen University, Pauwelsstraße 30, 52057, Aachen, Deutschland. ., Department of Radiation Oncology, RWTH Aachen University, Pauwelsstraße 30, 52057, Aachen, Deutschland.


Newsletter subscription

Free Daily and Weekly newsletters offered by content of interest

The fields of GU Oncology and Urology are rapidly advancing. Sign up today for articles, videos, conference highlights and abstracts from peer-review publications by disease and condition delivered to your inbox and read on the go.