Analysis of Gastrointestinal Toxicity in Patients Receiving Proton Beam Therapy for Prostate Cancer: A Single-Institution Experience

Howard J. Lee, Meghan W. Macomber, Matthew B. Spraker, Stephen R. Bowen, Daniel Hippe, Angela Fung, Kenneth J. Russell, George E. Laramore, Ramesh Rengan, Jay Liao, Smith Apisarnthanarax, Jing Zeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: We characterized both physician- and patient-reported rates of gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity in patients treated with proton beam therapy (PBT) at our institution for prostate adenocarcinoma and identified factors associated with toxicity. Methods and materials: We treated 192 patients with PBT between July 2013 and July 2016. Included patients had ≥1 year of follow-up. Potential preexisting clinical and treatment-related risk factors for GI toxicity were recorded. Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.0 was used to score toxicity. Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC) bowel domain questionnaires assessed patient-reported quality of life. Associations between grade (GR) 2+ toxicity and clinical, treatment, and dosimetric factors were assessed using Cox models and corresponding hazard ratios. Results: The median follow-up was 1.7 years. Most of the observed GI toxicity (>90%) was in the form of rectal bleeding (RB). GR2+ GI toxicity and RB actuarial rates specifically at 2 years were 21.3% and 20.4%, respectively. GR3 toxicity was rare, with only 1 observed RB event. No GR4/5 toxicity was seen. The EPIC bowel domain median score was 96 (range, 61-100) pretreatment, 93 (range, 41-100) at 1 year, 89 (range, 57-100) at 1.5 years, and 89 (range, 50-100) at 2 years. Anticoagulation use was the only factor selected during multivariate analysis for predicting GR2+ RB, with a resulting concordance index of 0.59 (95% confidence interval, 0.48-0.68; P =.088). Type of proton technology (pencil beam scanning vs uniform scanning) and number of fields treated per day (1 vs 2) showed no significant difference in toxicity rate. Conclusions: PBT was associated with acceptable rates of GR2+ transient GI toxicity, mostly in the form of RB, which correlated with anticoagulation use. High EPIC bowel domain quality of life was maintained in the 2 years after treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-78
Number of pages9
JournalAdvances in Radiation Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


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