JOURNAL ARTICLE

Results of high dose rate afterloading brachytherapy boost to conventional external beam radiation therapy for initial and locally advanced prostate cancer

Antonio Cassio Assis Pellizzon, Wladmir Nadalin, João Vitor Salvajoli, Ricardo Cesar Fogaroli, Paulo Eduardo R S Novaes, Maria Aparecida Conte Maia, Robson Ferrigno
Radiotherapy and Oncology 2003, 66 (2): 167-72
12648788

PURPOSE: To evaluate the impact on biochemical control (bNED), acute and late gastro-intestinal (GI) and urological (GU) morbidity of initial and locally advanced prostate cancer treated with fractionated transrectal ultrasound-guided (TRUS) high dose rate after loading brachytherapy (HDR-B) as a boost to conventional external beam radiation therapy (EBRT).

PATIENTS AND METHODS: From March 1997 to February 2000 a total of 119 patients with any of the following characteristics were eligible for study entry: biopsy proven adenocarcinoma Gleason scored (GS), initial prostatic specific antigen (PSA) level dosage 1992 AJCC clinical stage T3a or less, and prostatic volume <60 cc. All patients had prior to HDR-B a course of EBRT 6 MV photons to a median dose of 45 Gy, in 1.8 Gy fractions, to the prostate and seminal vesicles only. HDR-B treatment planning and dosimetric calculations were generated with the Nucletron Planning System. Patients were grouped into two groups, according to their risk for biochemical failure: low-risk group without (LR) or with neoadjuvant total androgen deprivation (AD) prior to EBRT (LR+AD) and high-risk group without (HR) or with neoadjuvant AD (HR+AD), for bNED and dose-escalation protocol. LR encompassed patients who presented GS<6, T1 or T2a and or initial PSA<10 ng/ml, who were treated with 16 Gy (4 Gy fractions, b.i.d.) HDR-B. The remaining patients were grouped into HR or HR+AD and received 20 Gy (5 Gy fractions, b.i.d.) HDR-B. The planning was optimized using the standard geometric optimization. Biological effective doses (BED) for tumor control and late responding tissue were calculated using a alpha/beta ratio of 1.5 and 3 Gy, respectively. They were matched with bNED, acute and late gastrointestinal (GI) and urological (GU) morbidity, according to the RTOG/EORTC scoring criteria.

RESULTS: Median age of patients was 68 years (range 47-83), with a median follow-up of 41 months (range 18-48). The crude and actuarial biochemical controls (bNED) in 48 months for all patients were 69.5 and 75.3%, respectively. When grouped into LR, LR+AD, HR and HR+AD the actuarial bNED were 78.2, 76, 76 and 72.3% (P=0.89), respectively. Acute GU and GI morbidity G1-2 were seen in 18.5% (20/108) and 10.2% (11/108) of patients with spontaneous regression. Late GI and GU morbidity G1-2 were seen in 12% (13/108) and 4.6 (5/108) of patients, with no need of intervention. No acute or late G3-4 GU or GI morbidity was seen.

CONCLUSIONS: There are many advantages in HDR-B, but the most important ones are the capability of on-line dosimetry, quality control and the procedure being very conformal. There is a low incidence of GU and GI acute and late morbidity with acceptable bNED when treating initial and locally advanced prostate cancer with HDR-B as a boost to EBRT, but we still need to wait for results of phase III open trials that analyze HDR-B and conformal therapy.

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