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Purpose

To study retrospectively late complications and biochemical control in patients treated with three-dimensional conformal external-beam radiotherapy for localized prostate cancer administered using hypofractionation vs. a standard fractionation regimen. The hypofractionation regimen (Hypo) was designed to avoid more late rectal reactions and to be done in half as many treatment sessions.

Methods and Materials

Eighty-nine nonrandomized patients chose Hypo delivered in 20 fractions of 3 Gy (n = 52) or 3.15 Gy (n = 37) for a median overall treatment time of 33 days. One hundred thirty comparable patients were contemporaneously treated with standard fractionation to a median dose of 78 Gy delivered over 55 days. The median follow-up time was 49 months (range, 24-73 months).

Results

The 5-year actuarial biochemical control rates were 96%, 84%, and 85% for low-, medium-, and high-risk disease in the Hypo group, respectively. The respective rates in the standard fractionation group were 98%, 84%, and 87%, with no statistical difference between the two groups. The rate of rectal Grade 2–4 complications was 5.5% in both treatment groups and of urinary Grade 2–4 complications was 5.6% in the Hypo and 3% in the standard group (p = 0.36). Similarly, there were no statistical differences in the rate of late complications between patients treated with 3 Gy/fraction vs. 3.15 Gy/fraction.

Conclusions

Our preliminary results showed that the Hypo regimen is feasible and does not reduce biochemical control compared with standard fractionation. The incidence of late complications was not increased when the tumor normalized total doses at 2Gy/fraction was increased from 77.1 to 83.7 Gy in patients treated with either 3 or 3.15 Gy/fraction in the Hypo group, respectively.

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