Background: The aim of this trial was to compare dose-escalated conformal radiotherapy with control-dose conformal radiotherapy in patients with localised prostate cancer. Preliminary findings reported after 5 years of follow-up showed that escalated-dose conformal radiotherapy improved biochemical progression-free survival. Based on the sample size calculation, we planned to analyse overall survival when 190 deaths occurred; this target has now been reached, after a median 10 years of follow-up.
Methods: RT01 was a phase 3, open-label, international, randomised controlled trial enrolling men with histologically confirmed T1b-T3a, N0, M0 prostate cancer with prostate specific antigen of less than 50 ng/mL. Patients were randomly assigned centrally in a 1:1 ratio, using a computer-based minimisation algorithm stratifying by risk of seminal vesicle invasion and centre to either the control group (64 Gy in 32 fractions, the standard dose at the time the trial was designed) or the escalated-dose group (74 Gy in 37 fractions). Neither patients nor investigators were masked to assignment. All patients received neoadjuvant androgen deprivation therapy for 3-6 months before the start of conformal radiotherapy, which continued until the end of conformal radiotherapy. The coprimary outcome measures were biochemical progression-free survival and overall survival. All analyses were done on an intention-to-treat basis. Treatment-related side-effects have been reported previously. This trial is registered, number ISRCTN47772397.
Findings: Between Jan 7, 1998, and Dec 20, 2001, 862 men were registered and 843 subsequently randomly assigned: 422 to the escalated-dose group and 421 to the control group. As of Aug 2, 2011, 236 deaths had occurred: 118 in each group. Median follow-up was 10·0 years (IQR 9·1-10·8). Overall survival at 10 years was 71% (95% CI 66-75) in each group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·99, 95% CI 0·77-1·28; p=0·96). Biochemical progression or progressive disease occurred in 391 patients (221 [57%] in the control group and 170 [43%] in the escalated-dose group). At 10 years, biochemical progression-free survival was 43% (95% CI 38-48) in the control group and 55% (50-61) in the escalated-dose group (HR 0·69, 95% CI 0·56-0·84; p=0·0003).
Interpretation: At a median follow-up of 10 years, escalated-dose conformal radiotherapy with neoadjuvant androgen deprivation therapy showed an advantage in biochemical progression-free survival, but this advantage did not translate into an improvement in overall survival. These efficacy data for escalated-dose treatment must be weighed against the increase in acute and late toxicities associated with the escalated dose and emphasise the importance of use of appropriate modern radiotherapy methods to reduce side-effects.
Funding: UK Medical Research Council.
Copyright © 2014 Dearnaley et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.