Objective: To evaluate the long-term bowel-associated quality of life (QOL) in men after radiotherapy (RT) for prostate cancer with and without the use of rectal hydrogel spacer. Patients and Methods: The patients’ QOL was examined using the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC) and mean changes from baseline in EPIC domains were evaluated. A total of 215 patients from a randomised multi-institutional trial of RT, with or without hydrogel spacer, with a QOL endpoint were pooled with 165 non-randomised patients from a single institution with prospective QOL collection in patients with or without hydrogel spacer. The proportions of men with minimally important differences (MIDs) relative to pre-treatment baseline in the bowel domain were tested using repeated measure logistic models with a pre-specified threshold for clinically significant declines (≥5 equivalent to MIDx1 and ≥10 equivalent to MIDx2). Results: A total of 380 men were evaluated (64% with spacer and 36% without) with QOL data being available for 199 men with >24 months of follow-up [median (range) 39.5 (31–71.4) months]. Treatment with spacer was associated with less decline in average long-term bowel QOL (89.4 for control and 94.7 for spacer) with differences at >24 months meeting the threshold of a MID difference between cohorts (bowel score difference from baseline: control = −5.1, spacer = 0.3, difference = −5.4; P < 0.001). When evaluated over time men without spacer were more likely to have MIDx1 (5 points) declines in bowel QOL (P = 0.01). At long-term follow-up MIDx1 was 36% without spacer vs 14% with spacer (P <0.001; odds ratio [OR] 3.5, 95% CI 1.7–6.9) while MIDx2 was seen in 19% vs 6% (P = 0.008; OR 3.6, 95% CI 1.4–9.1). The use of spacer was associated with less urgency with bowel movements (P = 0.002) and fewer loose stools (P = 0.009), as well as less bother with urgency (P = 0.007) and frequency of bowel movements (P = 0.009). Conclusions: In this pooled analysis of QOL after prostate RT with up to 5 years of follow-up, use of a rectal spacer was associated with preservation of bowel QOL. This QOL benefit was preserved with long-term follow-up.
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Sep 1 2020|
- hydrogel spacer
- patient-reported outcomes
- prostate cancer