Purpose: To determine the safety and efficacy of combined external beam irradiation and external regional hyperthermia in the treatment of adenocarcinoma of the prostate.
Methods and materials: From 1987 to 1994, 30 patients received combined external beam irradiation and external regional hyperthermia for locally advanced prostate cancer. The results of the 21 patients with newly diagnosed (n = 18) or locally recurrent (n = 3) adenocarcinoma are reported herein. No patient had evidence of distant metastases. Total radiotherapy doses of 65-70 Gy to the prostate were planned using a four-field box technique. Hyperthermia treatments were delivered using an annular phased array microwave device. The treatment goal was to achieve temperatures > or = 42 degrees C in all measured points within the prostate.
Results: Of the newly diagnosed patients, 16 out of 18 (89%) had T3 or T4 tumors, 11 out of 18 (61%) had Gleason scores of 7-9, and the mean pretreatment Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) was 69 ng/ml. The median follow-up of all 21 patients was 36 months. None of the patients achieved the treatment goal of all intratumoral temperatures > or = 42 degrees C. The mean CEM 43 T90 was 2.34 min. The disease-free survival at 36 months is 25%; 12 out of 18 (67%) of the patients have relapsed. The only significant predictor of relapse was pretreatment PSA. There were no complications > Grade 3.
Conclusions: In spite of the inability to achieve high tumor temperatures, the relapse-free survival rate in this population of patients with very advanced localized prostate cancer treated with radiation therapy plus hyperthermia compares favorably with most series using radiation therapy alone. Further studies aimed at improving the ability to deliver hyperthermia to the prostate are warranted.