Purpose: Radiotherapy (RT) has an established role in the treatment of prostate cancer patients. Despite the large number of patients treated with RT, some issues about optimal techniques, doses, volumes, timing, and association with androgen deprivation are still subject of debate. The aim of this survey was to determine the patterns of choice of Italian radiation oncologists in two different clinical cases of prostate cancer patients treated with radical RT.
Study design: During the 2010 Italian Association of Radiation Oncology (AIRO) National congress, four different clinical cases were presented to attending radiation oncologists. Two of them were prostate cancer cases that could be treated by RT +/- hormonal therapy (HT), different for T stage of primary tumour according to TNM, preoperative diagnostic procedures for staging, initial prostate specific antigen (iPSA), and Gleason Score sum of biopsy. For each clinical case, radiation oncologists were asked to: (a) give indication to pretreatment procedures for staging; (b) give indication to treatment; (c) define specifically, where indicated, total dose, type of fractionation, volumes of treatment, type of technique, type of image-guided setup control; (d) indicate if HT should be prescribed; (e) define criteria that particularly influenced prescription. A descriptive statistical analysis was performed.
Results: Three hundred questionnaires were given to radiation oncologists attending the congress, 128 questionnaires were completed and considered for this analysis (41%). Some important differences were shown in prescribing and delivering RT, particularly with regards to treatment volumes and fractionation.
Conclusions: Despite the results of clinical trials, several differences still exist among Italian radiation oncologists in the treatment of prostate cancer patients. These patients probably deserve a more uniform approach, based on upto-date, detailed, and evidence-based recommendations.