Phase III randomised trialThe early toxicity of escalated versus standard dose conformal radiotherapy with neo-adjuvant androgen suppression for patients with localised prostate cancer: Results from the MRC RT01 trial (ISRCTN47772397)☆
Review articleOpen access

AbstractBackgroundFive-year disease-free survival rates for localised prostate cancer following standard doses of conventional radical external beam radiotherapy are around 80%. Conformal radiotherapy (CFRT) raises the possibility that radiotherapy doses can be increased and long-term efficacy outcomes improved, with safety an important consideration.MethodsMRC RT01 is a randomised controlled trial of 862 men with localised prostate cancer comparing Standard CFRT (64 Gy/32 f) versus Escalated CFRT (74 Gy/37 f), both administered with neo-adjuvant androgen suppression. Early toxicity was measured using physician-reported instruments (RTOG, LENT/SOM, Royal Marsden Scales) and patient-reported questionnaires (MOS SF-36, UCLA Prostate Cancer Index, FACT-P).ResultsOverall early radiotherapy toxicity was similar, apart from increased bladder, bowel and sexual toxicity, in the Escalated Group during a short immediate post-radiotherapy period. Toxicity in both groups had abated by week 12. Using RTOG Acute Toxicity scores, cumulative Grade ⩾2 bladder and bowel toxicity was 38% and 30% for Standard Group and 39% and 33% in Escalated Group, respectively. Urinary frequency (Royal Marsden Scale) improved in both groups from pre-androgen suppression to 6 months post-radiotherapy (p < 0.001), but bowel and sexual functioning deteriorated. This pattern was supported by patient-completed assessments. Six months after starting radiotherapy the incidence of RTOG Grade ⩾2 side-effects was low (<1%); but there were six reports of rectal ulceration (6 Escalated Group), six haematuria (5 Escalated Group) and eight urethral stricture (6 Escalated Group).ConclusionsThe two CFRT schedules with neo-adjuvant androgen suppression have broadly similar early toxicity profiles except for the immediate post-RT period. At 6 months and compared to before hormone therapy, bladder symptoms improved, whereas bowel and sexual symptoms worsened. These assessments of early treatment safety will be complemented by further follow-up to document late side-effects and efficacy.

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