Postoperative radiotherapy for prostate cancer: a comparison of four consensus guidelines and dosimetric evaluation of 3D-CRT versus tomotherapy IMRT

Shawn Malone, Jennifer Croke, Nicolas Roustan-Delatour, Eric Belanger, Leonard Avruch, Colin Malone, Christopher Morash, Cathleen Kayser, Kathryn Underhill, Yan Li, Kyle Malone, Balazs Nyiri, Johanna Spaans
International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 2012 November 1, 84 (3): 725-32

PURPOSE: Despite the benefits of adjuvant radiotherapy after radical prostatectomy, approximately one-half of patients relapse. Four consensus guidelines have been published (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, Faculty of Radiation Oncology Genito-Urinary Group, Princess Margaret Hospital, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group) with the aim of standardizing the clinical target volume (CTV) delineation and improve outcomes. To date, no attempt has been made to compare these guidelines in terms of treatment volumes or organ at risk (OAR) irradiation. The extent to which the guideline-derived plans meet the dosimetric constraints of present trials or of the Quantitative Analysis of Normal Tissue Effects in the Clinic (QUANTEC) trial is also unknown. Our study also explored the dosimetric benefits of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT).

METHODS AND MATERIALS: A total of 20 patients treated with postoperative RT were included. The three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) plans were applied to cover the guideline-generated planning target volumes (66 Gy in 33 fractions). Dose-volume histograms (DVHs) were analyzed for CTV/planning target volume coverage and to evaluate OAR irradiation. The OAR DVHs were compared with the constraints proposed in the QUANTEC and Radiotherapy and Androgen Deprivation In Combination After Local Surgery (RADICALS) trials. 3D-CRT plans were compared with the tomotherapy plans for the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group planning target volume to evaluate the advantages of IMRT.

RESULTS: The CTV differed significantly between guidelines (p < 0.001). The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer-CTVs were significantly smaller than the other CTVs (p < 0.001). Differences in prostate bed coverage superiorly accounted for the major volumetric differences between the guidelines. Using 3D-CRT, the DVHs rarely met the QUANTEC or RADICALS rectal constraints, independent of the guideline used. The RADICALS bladder constraints were met most often by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer consensus guideline (14 of 20). The tomotherapy IMRT plans resulted in significant OAR sparing compared with the 3D-CRT plans; however, the RADICALS and QUANTEC criteria were still missed in a large percentage of cases.

CONCLUSION: Treatment volumes using the current consensus guidelines differ significantly. For the four CTV guidelines, the rectal and bladder DVH constraints proposed in the QUANTEC and RADICALS trials are rarely met with 3D-CRT. IMRT results in significant OAR sparing; however, the RADICALS dose constraints are still missed for a large percentage of cases. The rectal and bladder constraints of RADICALS should be modified to avoid a reduction in the CTVs.

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