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Urology. 1998 Jun;51(6):991-7.

Late effects after radiotherapy for prostate cancer in a randomized dose-response study: results of a self-assessment questionnaire.

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1
Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the late effects more than 2 years after radiotherapy using a patient-reported questionnaire in patients with prostate cancer enrolled in a randomized dose-response study comparing 70 Gy (conventional) and 78 Gy (conformal) radiotherapy (RT).

METHODS:

The first 112 patients in the study were sent questionnaires to evaluate late bladder, rectal, and sexual function. There were 101 evaluable responses, with 50 in the conventional (Conven-RT) arm and 51 in the conformal (3DCRT) arm.

RESULTS:

The overall rate of persistent incontinence was 29%, with 36% reporting urgency-related and 8% stress-related incontinence at some time after radiation. Use of a urinary protective device was required in 2%. The majority noticed leakage less than once per day (52%). In comparing the Conven-RT group with the 3DCRT group, similar incontinence rates were seen. However, fewer of those who received 3DCRT reported daily leakage of urine (33% versus 63%, P = 0.044). The majority (78%) of patients experienced no or mild change in bowel function after RT. Urgency of bowel movements (BMs) was of concern for 27% of patients; however, 90% reported their BMs were controlled without accidents, and 1% were taking antidiarrheal medications once a week or daily. The Conven-RT group had more moderate or major changes in bowel function than the 3DCRT group (34% versus 10%), more frequent BMs (47% versus 27%), and more urgent BMs (37% versus 18%) (P < or = 0.040 for all three comparisons). Hematochezia was uncommon, occurring once a week in 7% and daily in 4% of patients. Before RT, 80% of patients were potent, with erections adequate for intercourse at least a few times over the prior year. After RT, potency was decreased to 51%, with erections adequate for intercourse at least a few times since the completion of RT.

CONCLUSIONS:

The overall rates of significant complications were extremely low. Although 30% reported incontinence, relatively few patients (2%) required pads. This rate compares favorably with the 31% of patients requiring protection after radical prostatectomy reported previously. Despite the higher treatment doses in the 3DCRT arm, slightly fewer long-term bowel side effects were noted. These data indicate that 78 Gy may safely be delivered using the conformal RT boost treatment technique described.

PMID:
9609638
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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