Send to

Choose Destination
BJU Int. 2017 May;119(5):700-708. doi: 10.1111/bju.13607. Epub 2016 Aug 30.

Management of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group grade 4 urinary adverse events after radiotherapy for prostate cancer.

Author information

Department of Surgery, Center for Reconstructive Urology and Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.



To describe the management of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) grade 4 urinary adverse events (UAEs) after radiotherapy (RT) for prostate cancer (PCa).


We conducted a single-centre retrospective review, over a 6-year period (2010-2015), to identify men with RTOG grade 4 UAEs after RT for PCa. RT was classified as combined therapy (radical prostatectomy [RP] followed by external beam radiotherapy [EBRT], EBRT + low-dose-rate [LDR] brachytherapy, EBRT + high-dose-rate [HDR] brachytherapy or other combinations of RT) or monotherapy RT. UAEs were classified as outlet (urethral stricture, bladder neck contracture, prostate necrosis, or recto-urethral fistula) or bladder (contraction, necrosis, fistula, ureteric stricture or haemorrhage) UAEs.


We identified 73 men with a mean age of 73 years. Of these, 44 (60%) received combined therapy, consisting of RP + EBRT (n = 19), HDR brachytherapy + EBRT (n = 19), LDR brachytherapy + EBRT (n = 5), and other combined RT (n = 1). Twenty-nine (40%) patients had monotherapy consisting of EBRT (n = 4), HDR brachytherapy (n = 11), LDR brachytherapy (n = 12), or proton beam therapy (n = 2). UAEs were isolated to the bladder in six men (8%), the outlet in 52 men (71%), and to both in 15 men (21%). UAE management included: conservative in 21 (29%), indwelling catheters in 12 (16%), reconstructive in 19 (26%), and urinary diversion (UD) in 23 men (32%). Reconstruction included: ureteric (n = 4), recto-urethral fistula repair (n = 2), and posterior urethroplasty (n =13), of which 14/16 surgeries (88%) with follow-up >90 days were successful.


Although the incidence of RTOG grade 4 UAEs after PCa radiation treatment is not well defined, their associated morbidity is significant, and approximately one third of patients with these high-grade complications require UD. Conversely, only about a quarter of patients can be managed with conservative strategies or local surgeries. Reconstruction is successful in selected patients.


complications; management; prostate cancer; radiation; treatment

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center