Post-prostatectomy radiotherapy adversely affects urinary continence irrespective of radiotherapy regime

To investigate the influence of different postoperative radiotherapy (RT) regimes on post-prostatectomy continence and QoL.

Men after prostatectomy (RP) and RT were assigned in adjuvant (ART), early salvage (ESRT) and salvage radiotherapy (SRT) groups depending on time of initiation, indication and pre-RT-PSA (≤/>0. 5 ng/ml). Continence and QoL outcomes were evaluated by validated questionnaire. Statistical analysis included students t test, Chi square, Fisher's test, ROC- and McNemar-Bowker-Analyses.

The mean follow-up was 5.1 years. 33.5, 38.2 and 28.3% received ART, ESRT and SRT, respectively. Mean time to RT was 0.3 (±0.4), 1.8 (±2.5) and 3.3 (±3.6) years respectively. Differences in age at RP (p = 0.54) and RT (p = 0.47) between groups were not significant. Mean-RT-dose was similar (p = 0.70). Differences in continence distribution between groups before (p = 0.56) and after RT (p = 0.38) were not significant. No significant differences were observed for frequency (p = 0.58) or amount (p = 0.88) of urine loss, impact on QoL (p = 0.13) and ICIQ-SF scores (p = 0.69) between groups. Even though no significant difference in post-RT-continence (p = 0.89) was observed in the direct comparison between groups, a significant worsening of long-term continence was observed in all groups (p < 0.001). We found no cutoff and no time-point after RP at which this negative effect of RT on continence became insignificant (AUC = 0.474). A subgroup with apparent local recurrence showed no differences for ICIQ-SF-score (p = 0.155), QoL (0.077), incontinence grade (p = 0.387), frequency (p = 0.182) and amount (p = 0.415) of urine loss. Proportionally more men in this subgroup remembered deterioration of continence after RT (p = 0.029).

Postoperative RT adversely affects long-term continence; this negative effect is irrespective of time of initiation or indication for RT. These results suggest a need for innovative strategies of prostate cancer therapy with lasting oncological, functional and QoL outcomes.

World journal of urology. 2017 Aug 31 [Epub ahead of print]

J N Nyarangi-Dix, J Steimer, T Bruckner, H Jakobi, S A Koerber, B Hadaschik, J Debus, M Hohenfellner

Department of Urology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 110, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany. ., Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg, Medical Faculty, Heidelberg, Germany., Institute of Medical Biometry & Informatics, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany., Department of Urology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 110, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany., Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany., Department of Urology, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany.