Interim report of toxicity from 3D conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) for prostate cancer on 3DOG/RTOG 9406, level III (79.2 Gy)

Janice K. Ryu, Kathryn Winter, Jeff M. Michalski, James A. Purdy, Arnold M. Markoe, John D. Earle, Carlos A. Perez, Mack Roach, Howard M. Sandler, Alan Pollack, James D. Cox

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Purpose: A prospective Phase I dose escalation study was conducted to determine the maximally tolerated radiation dose in men treated with three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) for localized prostate cancer. This is a preliminary report of toxicity at Level III (79.2 Gy) on 3D Oncology Group/Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 9406. Methods and Materials: Between November 26, 1996 and October 1, 1998, 173 patients with clinically organ-confined prostate cancer (T1 and T2) were accrued to a Level III dose of 79.2 Gy. One hundred sixty-nine patients were available for analysis of toxicity. Patients were registered to two groups according to the risk of seminal vesicle invasion (SVI) on the basis of presenting PSA and Gleason score. Group 1 patients had a calculated risk of SVI <15%, and Group 2 patients had a risk of SVI ≥15%. For Group 1 patients, the planning target volume (PTV) margins were 5-10 mm around the prostate only. For Group 2 patients, the same margins were applied to the prostate and seminal vesicles (PTV1) for the initial 55.8 Gy; then treatment volume was reduced to the prostate only (PTV2). To reduce the rectal dose on dose Level III, the minimum PTV dose was limited to 73.8 Gy, whereas the minimum gross target volume dose was 79.2 Gy, both in 44 fractions. The incidence of ≥3 Grade late effects was compared to that in a similar group of patients treated on RTOG 7506 and 7706 studies. Results: Acute tolerance to 79.2 Gy was excellent with no patients experiencing ≥ Grade 3 acute toxicity. The acute toxicity rate was comparable to that reported for previous lower dose levels. With the median follow-up of 3.3 years (range: 0.4-4.4 years), a total of 4 patients (2.4%) experienced Grade 3 late toxicity, three cases of which were related to the bladder, and one related to the rectum. There were no Grade 4 or 5 late complications noted during the period of observation. These results are also comparable to those reported at dose Levels I and II. The expected incidence of ≥3 Grade 3 late toxicity was calculated using historical data from two previous RTOG prostate cancer trials, 7506 and 7706. The calculated risk accounted for the difference in follow-up duration between patients in this study and the historical experience. The observed rate of ≥ Grade 3 late effects for Group 1 (two cases) is significantly lower (p = 0.0002) than the 17.6 cases that would have been expected from the historical control. The observed rate for Group 2 (two cases) was also significantly lower (p = 0.0037) than the 12.1 cases expected. Conclusion: Based on excellent tolerance of 3D-CRT for stages T1 and T2 prostate cancer, further biological dose escalation has been pursued to Levels IV and V, 74 Gy and 78 Gy, respectively, at 2 Gy per day, in an attempt to reduce the total treatment duration. This trial has closed. A Phase III comparative RTOG trial is being developed to determine whether high-dose 3D-CRT improves efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1036-1046
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 15 2002


  • 3D conformal radiation therapy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radiation toxicity


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