Safety of image-guided radiotherapy in definitive radiotherapy for localized prostate cancer: a population-based analysis

Br J Radiol. 2021 May 1;94(1121):20200456. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20200456. Epub 2021 Apr 16.


Objectives: Image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) is a recommended advanced radiation technique that is associated with fewer acute and chronic toxicities. However, one Phase III trial showed worse overall survival in the IGRT arm. The purpose of this observational study is to evaluate the impact of IGRT on overall survival.

Methods: We used the Taiwan Cancer Registry Database to enroll cT1-4N0M0 prostate cancer patients who received definitive radiotherapy between 2011 and 2015. We used inverse probability treatment weighting (IPW) to construct balanced IGRT and non-IGRT groups. We compared the overall survival of those in the IGRT and non-IGRT groups. Supplementary analyses (SA) were performed with alternative covariates in propensity score (PS) models and PS approaches. The incidence rates of prostate cancer mortality (IPCM), other cancer mortality (IOCM), and cardiovascular mortality (ICVM) were also evaluated.

Results: There were 360 patients in the IGRT arm and 476 patients in the non-IGRT arm. The median follow-up time was 50 months. The 5-year overall survival was 88% in the IGRT arm and 86% in the non-IGRT arm (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] of death = 0.93; 95% CI, 0.61-1.45; p = 0.77). The SA also showed no significant differences in the overall survival between those in the IGRT and non-IGRT arms. Both groups did not significantly differ in terms of IPCM, IOCM, and ICVM.

Conclusions: The overall survival of localized prostate cancer patients who underwent IGRT was not inferior to those who did not.

Advances in knowledge: We demonstrated that the overall survival for prostate cancer patients with IGRT was not worse than those who did not undergo IGRT; this important outcome comparison has not been previously examined in the general population.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / radiotherapy
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Databases, Factual
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Probability
  • Propensity Score
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Radiotherapy, Image-Guided / adverse effects
  • Radiotherapy, Image-Guided / methods
  • Radiotherapy, Image-Guided / mortality*
  • Taiwan
  • Young Adult