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Radiother Oncol. 1997 May;43(2):171-4.

Hypofractionated radiotherapy for muscle invasive bladder cancer in the elderly.

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Velindre Hospital NHS Trust, Cardiff, South Wales, UK.



We have retrospectively investigated a hypofractionated regimen in a cohort of 65 elderly patients (median age 78 years), designed to minimise acute radiation affects and maximise patient tolerance and convenience in this frail group.


All patients were CT planned to a small volume. Once weekly fractions (6 Gy) prescribed to the 100% isodose as a target minimum to 30 Gy (n = 53) and 36 Gy (n = 12) were administered. Palliation of symptoms before, during, and 1 month from completion of radiotherapy were graded using the urinary and bowel symptom and toxicity index.


Fifty-five patients had persisting urinary symptoms following trans urethral resection of bladder. Twenty-eight (51%) were completely palliated of symptoms and 7 (13%) noticed an improvement at a 1 month review. Ninety-two percent of patients with haematuria were completely palliated compared to only 24% of those with dysuria and frequency. The median symptom free interval was 7 months (range 2-40months). Median overall survival was 9 months (range 2-41months). Twelve percent of patients required inpatient admission and only three failed to complete the prescribed course due to bowel toxicity. Grade 3 acute urinary and bowel treatment related toxicity, were recorded in 18% and 9% of patients, respectively. In total, 43% of patients noticed a transient worsening of their presenting symptoms on treatment. To date no significant late toxicity (>grade 2) has been recorded.


This regimen is generally well tolerated and offers reasonable palliation of symptoms on an outpatient basis for this frail poor prognosis group. Haematuria is particularly well palliated although only a quarter of patients presenting with dysuria and frequency were rendered symptom free.

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