Postoperative radiotherapy for prostate cancer : Morbidity of local-only or local-plus-pelvic radiotherapy

The aim of this work was to characterise actuarial incidence and prevalence of early and late side effects of local versus pelvic three-dimensional conformal postoperative radiotherapy for prostate cancer.

Based on a risk-adapted protocol, 575 patients received either local (n = 447) or local-plus-pelvic (n = 128) radiotherapy. Gastrointestinal (GI) and genitourinary (GU) side effects (≥grade 2 RTOG/EORTC criteria) were prospectively assessed. Maximum morbidity, actuarial incidence rate, and prevalence rates were compared between the two groups.

For local radiotherapy, median follow-up was 68 months, and the mean dose was 66.7 Gy. In pelvic radiotherapy, the median follow-up was 49 months, and the mean local and pelvic doses were 66.9 and 48.3 Gy respectively. Early GI side effects ≥ G2 were detected in 26% and 42% of patients respectively (p < 0.001). Late GI adverse events were detected in 14% in both groups (p = 0.77). The 5‑year actuarial incidence rates were 14% and 14%, while the prevalence rates were 2% and 0% respectively. Early GU ≥ G2 side effects were detected in 15% and 16% (p = 0.96), while late GU morbidity was detected in 18% and 24% (p = 0.001). The 5‑year actuarial incidence rates were 16% and 35% (p = 0.001), while the respective prevalence rates were 6% and 8%.

Despite the low prevalence of side effects, postoperative pelvic radiotherapy results in significant increases in the actuarial incidence of early GI and late GU morbidity using a conventional 4‑field box radiotherapy technique. Advanced treatment techniques like intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) or volumetric modulated arc radiotherapy (VMAT) should therefore be considered in pelvic radiotherapy to potentially reduce these side effects.

Strahlentherapie und Onkologie : Organ der Deutschen Rontgengesellschaft ... [et al]. 2017 Sep 19 [Epub ahead of print]

Cora Waldstein, Wolfgang Dörr, Richard Pötter, Joachim Widder, Gregor Goldner

Department of Radiation Oncology, Comprehensive Cancer Center, General Hospital of Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090, Vienna, Austria. ., Department of Radiation Oncology, Comprehensive Cancer Center, General Hospital of Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090, Vienna, Austria.

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