Toxicity, quality of life, and PSA control after 50 Gy stereotactic body radiation therapy to the dominant intraprostatic nodule with the use of a rectal spacer: results of a phase I/II study

Br J Radiol. 2023 Apr 1;96(1145):20220803. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20220803. Epub 2023 Mar 3.


Objectives: We conducted a phase I/II prospective trial to determine whether stereotactic dose escalation to the dominant intra-prostatic nodule (DIN) up to 50 Gy incorporating a rectal balloon spacer is safe, does not affect patient quality of life, and preserves local control in patients with intermediate-high risk PCa.

Methods: Eligible patients included males with stage ≤T3b localized disease, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level ≤50 , International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) ≤14, and a gland volume ≤70 cm3. Patients underwent perirectal spacer placement, followed by a planning MRI and were subsequently treated with SBRT doses of 36.25 Gy in five fractions to the whole prostate while simultaneously escalating doses to the magnetic resonance image visible DIN up to 50 Gy. Primary endpoint: safety. Secondary endpoints: biochemical control, quality of life (QofL), and dosimetry outcome.

Results: Nine patients were treated in the Phase I part of the study. Dose limiting toxicities (DLTs) were not observed. Further characterization of tolerability and efficacy was conducted in the subsequent 24 patients irradiated at the recommended Phase II dose (50 Gy, RP2D). At a median follow-up of 61 months, biochemical control is 69%. Grade 1 and 2 acute GU and GI toxicity was 57.5 and 15%, and 24.2 and 6.1%, respectively. Grade 1 and 2 late GU and GI toxicity was 66.6 and 12.1%, and 15.1 and 3%, respectively. No Grade 3 or higher toxicity was reported. QofL data confirmed physician's reported side effects. Dosimetry analysis showed adherence to the doses prescribed in the protocol.

Conclusions: SBRT of the whole prostate with 36.25 Gy in 5 fractions and dose escalation to 50 Gy to the DIN, when combined with a peri-rectal balloon spacer, was tolerable and established the RP2D. QofL analysis showed minimal negative impact in GU, GI, and sexual domains.

Advances in knowledge: Extreme hypofractionated prostate radiation therapy with focal dose escalation to the DIN is well tolerated with efficacy comparable to normal fractionated radiation therapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Quality of Life
  • Radiosurgery* / adverse effects
  • Radiosurgery* / methods


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen