Role of intensity-modulated radiotherapy in reducing toxicity in dose escalation for localized prostate cancer

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009 Mar 1;73(3):685-91. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2008.04.063. Epub 2008 Aug 19.


Purpose: To compare the acute and late gastrointestinal (GI) and genitourinary (GU) toxicity in prostate cancer patients treated to a total dose of 78 Gy with either a three-conformal radiotherapy technique with a sequential boost (SEQ) or a simultaneous integrated boost using intensity-modulated radiotherapy (SIB-IMRT).

Patients and methods: A total of 78 prostate cancer patients participating in the randomized Dutch trial comparing 68 Gy and 78 Gy were the subject of this analysis. They were all treated at the same institution to a total dose of 78 Gy. The median follow-up was 76 and 56 months for the SEQ and SIB-IMRT groups, respectively. The primary endpoints were acute and late GI and GU toxicity.

Results: A significantly lower incidence of acute Grade 2 or greater GI toxicity occurred in patients treated with SIB-IMRT compared with SEQ (20% vs. 61%, p = 0.001). For acute GU toxicity and late GI and GU toxicity, the incidence was lower after SIB-IMRT, but these differences were not statistically significant. No statistically significant difference were found in the 5-year freedom from biochemical failure rate (Phoenix definition) between the two groups (70% for the SIB-IMRT group vs. 61% for the SEQ group, p = 0.3). The same was true for the 5-year freedom from clinical failure rate (90% vs. 72%, p = 0.07).

Conclusion: The results of our study have shown that SIB-IMRT reduced the toxicity without compromising the outcome in patients with localized prostate cancer treated to 78 Gy radiation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Radiation Injuries / pathology
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated / adverse effects*
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated / methods
  • Rectum / radiation effects*
  • Time Factors
  • Urinary Bladder / radiation effects*
  • Urogenital System / radiation effects