Randomized phase II trial of MRI-guided salvage radiotherapy for prostate cancer in 4 weeks versus 2 weeks (SHORTER)

BMC Cancer. 2023 Aug 22;23(1):781. doi: 10.1186/s12885-023-11278-3.


Background: Ultra-hypofractionated image-guided stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is increasingly used for definitive treatment of localized prostate cancer. Magnetic resonance imaging-guided radiotherapy (MRgRT) facilitates improved visualization, real-time tracking of targets and/or organs-at-risk (OAR), and capacity for adaptive planning which may translate to improved targeting and reduced toxicity to surrounding tissues. Given promising results from NRG-GU003 comparing conventional and moderate hypofractionation in the post-operative setting, there is growing interest in exploring ultra-hypofractionated post-operative regimens. It remains unclear whether this can be done safely and whether MRgRT may help mitigate potential toxicity. SHORTER (NCT04422132) is a phase II randomized trial prospectively evaluating whether salvage MRgRT delivered in 5 fractions versus 20 fractions is non-inferior with respect to gastrointestinal (GI) and genitourinary (GU) toxicities at 2-years post-treatment.

Methods: A total of 136 patients will be randomized in a 1:1 ratio to salvage MRgRT in 5 fractions or 20 fractions using permuted block randomization. Patients will be stratified according to baseline Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC) bowel and urinary domain scores as well as nodal treatment and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Patients undergoing 5 fractions will receive a total of 32.5 Gy over 2 weeks and patients undergoing 20 fractions will receive a total of 55 Gy over 4 weeks, with or without nodal coverage (25.5 Gy over 2 weeks and 42 Gy over 4 weeks) and ADT as per the investigator's discretion. The co-primary endpoints are change scores in the bowel and the urinary domains of the EPIC. The change scores will reflect the 2-year score minus the pre-treatment (baseline) score. The secondary endpoints include safety endpoints, including change in GI and GU symptoms at 3, 6, 12 and 60 months from completion of treatment, and efficacy endpoints, including time to progression, prostate cancer specific survival and overall survival.

Discussion: The SHORTER trial is the first randomized phase II trial comparing toxicity of ultra-hypofractionated and hypofractionated MRgRT in the salvage setting. The primary hypothesis is that salvage MRgRT delivered in 5 fractions will not significantly increase GI and GU toxicities when compared to salvage MRgRT delivered in 20 fractions.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04422132. Date of registration: June 9, 2020.

Keywords: Genitourinary; Hypofractionation; MR-Linac; MRI-guided radiotherapy (MRgRT); Prostate cancer; Salvage radiotherapy; Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT); Toxicity; Ultra-hypofractionated.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Prostate
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / radiotherapy
  • Radiotherapy, Image-Guided* / adverse effects


  • Androgen Antagonists

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04422132