Patient-reported Urinary, Bowel, and Sexual Function After Hypofractionated Intensity-modulated Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer: Results From a Randomized Trial

Am J Clin Oncol. 2018 Jun;41(6):558-567. doi: 10.1097/COC.0000000000000325.


Objectives: Hypofractionated prostate radiotherapy may increase biologically effective dose delivered while shortening treatment duration, but information on patient-reported urinary, bowel, and sexual function after dose-escalated hypofractionated radiotherapy is limited. We report patient-reported outcomes (PROs) from a randomized trial comparing hypofractionated and conventional prostate radiotherapy.

Methods: Men with localized prostate cancer were enrolled in a trial that randomized men to either conventionally fractionated intensity-modulated radiation therapy (CIMRT, 75.6 Gy in 1.8 Gy fractions) or to dose-escalated hypofractionated IMRT (HIMRT, 72 Gy in 2.4 Gy fractions). Questionnaires assessing urinary, bowel, and sexual function were completed pretreatment and at 2, 3, 4, and 5 years after treatment.

Results: Of 203 eligible patients, 185 were evaluable for PROs. A total of 173 completed the pretreatment questionnaire (82 CIMRT, 91 HIMRT) and 102 completed the 2-year questionnaire (46 CIMRT, 56 HIMRT). Patients who completed PROs were similar to those who did not complete PROs (all P>0.05). Patient characteristics, clinical characteristics, and baseline symptoms were well balanced between the treatment arms (all P>0.05). There was no difference in patient-reported bowel (urgency, control, frequency, or blood per rectum), urinary (dysuria, hematuria, nocturia, leakage), or sexual symptoms (erections firm enough for intercourse) between treatment arms at 2, 3, 4, and 5 years after treatment (all P>0.01). Concordance between physician-assessed toxicity and PROs varied across urinary and bowel domains.

Discussion: We did not detect an increase in patient-reported urinary, bowel, and sexual symptom burden after dose-escalated intensity-modulated prostate radiation therapy using a moderate hypofractionation regimen (72 Gy in 2.4 Gy fractions) compared with conventionally fractionated radiation.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Radiation Dose Hypofractionation
  • Radiation Injuries / diagnosis
  • Radiation Injuries / etiology*
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated / adverse effects*
  • Rectal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Rectal Diseases / etiology*
  • Urination Disorders / diagnosis
  • Urination Disorders / etiology*