Purpose: To determine if escalated radiation dose using hypofractionation significantly reduces biochemical and/or clinical disease failure (BCDF) in men treated primarily for prostate cancer.
Patients and methods: Between June 2002 and May 2006, men with favorable- to high-risk prostate cancer were randomly allocated to receive 76 Gy in 38 fractions at 2.0 Gy per fraction (conventional fractionation intensity-modulated radiation therapy [CIMRT]) versus 70.2 Gy in 26 fractions at 2.7 Gy per fraction (hypofractionated IMRT [HIMRT]); the latter was estimated to be equivalent to 84.4 Gy in 2.0 Gy fractions. High-risk patients received long-term androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), and some intermediate-risk patients received short-term ADT. The primary end point was the cumulative incidence of BCDF. Secondarily, toxicity was assessed.
Results: There were 303 assessable patients with a median follow-up of 68.4 months. No significant differences were seen between the treatment arms in terms of the distribution of patients by clinicopathologic or treatment-related (ADT use and length) factors. The 5-year rates of BCDF were 21.4% (95% CI, 14.8% to 28.7%) for CIMRT and 23.3% (95% CI, 16.4% to 31.0%) for HIMRT (P = .745). There were no statistically significant differences in late toxicity between the arms; however, in subgroup analysis, patients with compromised urinary function before enrollment had significantly worse urinary function after HIMRT.
Conclusion: The hypofractionation regimen did not result in a significant reduction in BCDF; however, it is delivered in 2.5 fewer weeks. Men with compromised urinary function before treatment may not be ideal candidates for this approach.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00062309.