Background: Radiotherapy of prostate cancers, over the last few years, has been an alternative choice to radical prostatectomy in the case of localised cancers as well as being the preferred treatment in both advanced localised cancers and those of the elderly. A conventional course of prostate radiotherapy consisting of four to five sessions a week, lasts between 7 and 8 weeks plus about one week of preparation.
Materials and methods: A systematic review of the scientific literature based on Pubmed, along with an exhaustive review of randomised studies presented at international congresses, have made it possible to analyse the numerous therapeutic regimens available other than the conventional normofractioned one (i.e. with doses per session ranging between 1.8 and 2.2 grays).
Results: Five randomised trials reported since 2005, plus several thousand patients treated by stereotaxic radiotherapy, have given rise to numerous scientific questions; these alternative hypofractioned courses (dose per fraction higher than 2.2 grays) have a potentially enhanced antitumoral efficacity along with the practical advantages of a shortened duration of radiotherapy.
Conclusion: The aim of this analysis of the scientific literature on hypofractioning in prostate cancer radiotherapy is to gather all the scientific evidence we currently have at our disposal. Further mature results of future randomised trials will have to be examined before modifying current practice.
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