Intrarectal amifostine during external beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer produces significant improvements in Quality of Life measured by EPIC score

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2008 Jan 1;70(1):90-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2007.05.057. Epub 2007 Sep 12.


Purpose: To test whether intrarectal amifostine limits symptoms of radiation proctitis, measured by using the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity score and the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC) score.

Methods and materials: Patients with localized prostate cancer received amifostine as a rectal suspension 30-45 minutes before daily three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy. The first 18 patients received 1 g of amifostine, and the next 12 patients received 2 g. Toxicity was assessed at baseline, during treatment, and at follow-up visits by using RTOG grading and the EPIC Quality of Life (QoL) 50-item questionnaire. The Bowel Function subset of the bowel domain (EPIC-BF), which targets symptom severity, and the Bowel Bother subset of the bowel domain (EPIC-BB), which assesses QoL, were evaluated and compared with the RTOG GI toxicity score.

Results: Median follow-up was 30 months (range, 18-36 months). Overall, EPIC-BF and EPIC-BB scores both tracked closely with the RTOG GI toxicity score. Seven weeks after the start of radiation therapy, the incidence of RTOG Grade 2 toxicity was 33% in the 1-g group (6/18 patients) compared with 0% (0/12 patients) in the 2-g group and tended toward statistical significance (p = 0.06). A significant difference between amifostine groups was observed using the EPIC-BF score at 7 weeks (p = 0.04). A difference in EPIC-BB scores between dose groups was evident at 7 weeks (p = 0.07) and was significant at 12 months (p = 0.04).

Conclusions: Higher doses of amifostine produced significant improvements in acute and late bowel QoL (up to 1 year after therapy), measured using the EPIC score.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / radiotherapy
  • Administration, Rectal
  • Aged
  • Amifostine / administration & dosage*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proctitis / prevention & control*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Radiotherapy, Conformal / adverse effects*
  • Rectum / radiation effects
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Radiation-Protective Agents
  • Amifostine