Purpose: To determine the long-term effects of 75.6- and 81.0-Gy doses of three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy in a dose-escalation study in patients with stage T2c-T3 prostatic cancer.
Materials and methods: Fifty patients received an initial 75.6-Gy dose, and the dose in 46 patients was subsequently escalated to 81.0-Gy. Median follow-up was 60 and 40 months, respectively.
Results: The rates of effects of acute toxicity during the course of treatment were similar for both dose levels. Among the 96 patients, the rate of grade 2 morbidities necessitating medication to relieve acute symptoms was 17% (16 patients) for rectal and 36% (35 patients) for urinary morbidities. All other patients had either no or grade 1 morbidities. Fourteen patients (15%) developed late grade 2 rectal morbidities. There were no differences in 5-year actuarial rates of late grade 2 rectal or urinary morbidities among patients who received 75.6 Gy versus those who received 81.0 Gy. One patient treated with 81.0 Gy developed a grade 3 urethral stricture, which was resolved with dilatation.
Conclusion: Tumor dose escalation beyond conventional radiation doses for localized prostatic cancer is feasible when delivered with three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy, with no increase in morbidity in normal tissue.