To test the hypothesis that increasing radiation dose delivered to men with early-stage prostate cancer improves clinical outcomes.
Patients and Methods
Men with T1b-T2b prostate cancer and prostate-specific antigen ≤ 15 ng/mL were randomly assigned to a total dose of either 70.2 Gray equivalents (GyE; conventional) or 79.2 GyE (high). No patient received androgen suppression therapy with radiation. Local failure (LF), biochemical failure (BF), and overall survival (OS) were outcomes.
A total of 393 men were randomly assigned, and median follow-up was 8.9 years. Men receiving high-dose radiation therapy were significantly less likely to have LF, with a hazard ratio of 0.57. The 10-year American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology BF rates were 32.4% for conventional-dose and 16.7% for high-dose radiation therapy (P < .0001). This difference held when only those with low-risk disease (n = 227; 58% of total) were examined: 28.2% for conventional and 7.1% for high dose (P < .0001). There was a strong trend in the same direction for the intermediate-risk patients (n = 144; 37% of total; 42.1% v 30.4%, P = .06). Eleven percent of patients subsequently required androgen deprivation for recurrence after conventional dose compared with 6% after high dose (P = .047). There remains no difference in OS rates between the treatment arms (78.4% v 83.4%; P = .41). Two percent of patients in both arms experienced late grade ≥ 3 genitourinary toxicity, and 1% of patients in the high-dose arm experienced late grade ≥ 3 GI toxicity.
This randomized controlled trial shows superior long-term cancer control for men with localized prostate cancer receiving high-dose versus conventional-dose radiation. This was achieved without an increase in grade ≥ 3 late urinary or rectal morbidity.