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Radiother Oncol. 2014 Feb;110(2):213-28. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2013.12.012. Epub 2014 Jan 30.

Second primary cancers after radiation for prostate cancer: a systematic review of the clinical data and impact of treatment technique.

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St. James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds, UK.
St. James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds, UK. Electronic address:
Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, Northwood, UK.
Klinik fur Strahlentherapie, Kiel, Germany.
Institute Verbeeten, Tilburg, Netherlands.


The development of a radiation induced second primary cancer (SPC) is one the most serious long term consequences of successful cancer treatment. This review aims to evaluate SPC in prostate cancer (PCa) patients treated with radiotherapy, and assess whether radiation technique influences SPC. A systematic review of the literature was performed to identify studies examining SPC in irradiated PCa patients. This identified 19 registry publications, 21 institutional series and 7 other studies. There is marked heterogeneity in published studies. An increased risk of radiation-induced SPC has been identified in several studies, particularly those with longer durations of follow-up. The risk of radiation-induced SPC appears small, in the range of 1 in 220 to 1 in 290 over all durations of follow-up, and may increase to 1 in 70 for patients followed up for more than 10 years, based on studies which include patients treated with older radiation techniques (i.e. non-conformal, large field). To date there are insufficient clinical data to draw firm conclusions about the impact of more modern techniques such as IMRT and brachytherapy on SPC risk, although limited evidence is encouraging. In conclusion, despite heterogeneity between studies, an increased risk of SPC following radiation for PCa has been identified in several studies, and this risk appears to increase over time. This must be borne in mind when considering which patients to irradiate and which techniques to employ.


Prostate cancer; Second primary cancer; Systematic review

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