Androgen ablation therapy does not increase the risk of late morbidity following 3D-conformal radiotherapy of organ-confined prostate cancer: the experience of the European Institute of Oncology

Carlo Greco, Simona Castiglioni, Andrei Fodor, Chiara Mazzetta, Ottavio De Cobelli, Roberto Orecchia
Tumori 2004, 90 (6): 567-72

AIMS AND BACKGROUND: Androgen ablation therapy in conjunction with radiotherapy--neoadjuvant and adjuvant--has consistently been shown to be associated with improved biochemical and local control, whereas controversy still remains as regards its benefit in terms of overall survival. The objective of this study is to determine the impact of androgen ablation in combination to 3D-conformal radiotherapy on late treatment-related toxicity.

METHODS: 236 patients were treated with 3D-conformal radiotherapy to a total dose ranging from 70 and 78.6 Gy. Fifty-six patients did not receive any form of androgen ablation whereas 176 were given at least 3 months of neoadjuvant androgen ablation. Of these, 64 stayed on androgen ablation for a median time of 6 months post-radiotherapy. Acute toxicity was evaluated weekly during the course of treatment. Late toxicity was assessed at 3-months intervals during the follow-up. Toxicity was scored according to the RTOG criteria.

RESULTS: The median follow-up was 24.6 months (range, 12-62). The incidence of late genitourinary toxicity was: 3% G2, 3.5% G3, 0.5% G4. The incidence of late gastrointestinal toxicity was: 12% G2, 2% G3, 1% G4. No association was observed between the use of androgen ablation and late treatment-related toxicity. High-risk patients who continued on androgen ablation long-term were not found to have an increased risk of developing late toxicity with respect to those who never had any form of androgen ablation or those only treated neoadjuvantly.

CONCLUSIONS: In our experience, the use of androgen ablation does not impact on late toxicity following high dose 3D-conformal radiotherapy for prostate cancer.

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