Preliminary report of toxicity following 3D radiation therapy for prostate cancer on 3DOG/RTOG 9406

Jeff M. Michalski, James A. Purdy, Kathryn Winter, Mack Roach, Srinivasan Vijayakumar, Howard M. Sandler, Arnold M. Markoe, Mark A. Ritter, Kenneth J. Russell, Scott Sailer, William B. Harms, Carlos A. Perez, Richard B. Wilder, Gerald E. Hanks, 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 radiation therapy (3D CRT) for localized prostate cancer. This is a preliminary report of toxicity encountered on the 3DOG/RTOG 9406 study. Methods and Materials: Each participating institution was required to implement data exchange with the RTOG 3D quality assurance (QA) center at Washington University in St. Louis. 3D CRT capabilities were strictly defined within the study protocol. Patients were registered according to three stratification groups: Group 1 patients had clinically organ-confined disease (T1,2) with a calculated risk of seminal vesicle invasion of < 15%. Group 2 patients had clinical T1,2 disease with risk of SV invasion ≥ 15%. Group 3 (G3) patients had clinical local extension of tumor beyond the prostate capsule (T3). All patients were treated with 3D techniques with minimum doses prescribed to the planning target volume (PTV). The PTV margins were 5-10 mm around the prostate for patients in Group 1 and 5-10 mm around the prostate and SV for Group 2. After 55.8 Gy, the PTV was reduced in Group 2 patients to 5-10 mm around the prostate only. Minimum prescription dose began at 68.4 Gy (level I) and was escalated to 73.8 Gy (level II) and subsequently to 79.2 Gy (level III). This report describes the acute and late toxicity encountered in Group 1 and 2 patients treated to the first two study dose levels. Data from RTOG 7506 and 7706 allowed calculation of the expected probability of observing a ≥ grade 3 late effect more than 120 days after the start of treatment. RTOG toxicity scores were used. Results: Between August 23, 1994 and July 2, 1997, 304 Group 1 and 2 cases were registered; 288 cases were analyzable for toxicity. Acute toxicity was low, with 53-54% of Group 1 patients having either no or grade 1 toxicity at dose levels I and II, respectively. Sixty-two percent of Group 2 patients had either none or grade 1 toxicity at either dose level. Few patients (0-3%) experienced a grade 3 acute bowel or bladder toxicity, and there were no grade 4 or 5 toxicities. Late toxicity was very low in all patient groups. The majority (81-85%) had either no or mild grade 1 late toxicity at dose level I and II, respectively. A single late grade 3 bladder toxicity in a Group 2 patient treated to dose level II was recorded. There were no grade 4 or 5 late effects in any patient. Compared to historical RTOG controls (studies 7506, 7706) at dose level I, no grade 3 or greater late effects were observed in Group 1 and Group 2 patients when 9.1 and 4.8 events were expected (p = 0.003 and p = 0.028), respectively. At dose level II, there were no grade 3 or greater toxicities in Group 1 patients and a single grade 3 toxicity in a Group 2 patient when 12.1 and 13.0 were expected (p = 0.0005 and p = 0.0003), respectively. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the relative risk of developing acute bladder toxicity was 2.13 if the percentage of the bladder receiving ≥ 65 Gy was more than 30% (p = 0.013) and 2.01 if patients received neoadjuvant hormonal therapy (p = 0.018). The relative risk of developing late bladder complications also increased as the percentage of the bladder receiving ≥ 65 Gy increased (p = 0.026). Unexpectedly, there was a lower risk of late bladder complications as the mean dose to the bladder and prescription dose level increased. This probably reflects improvement in conformal techniques as the study matured. There was a 2.1 relative risk of developing a late bowel complication if the total rectal volume on the planning CT scan exceeded 100 cc (p = 0.019). Conclusion: Tolerance to high- dose 3D CRT has been better than expected in this dose escalation trial for Stage T1,2 prostate cancer compared to low-dose RTOG historical experience. With strict quality assurance standards and review, 3D CRT can be safely studied in a cooperative group setting. There appears to be a dose-volume relationship with respect to the development of both acute and late bladder toxicities. Whether improvement in efficacy can be gained with this treatment approach will await a prospective randomized trial. Meanwhile, the innovative image/clinical database resulting from this trial will serve as an important resource in the study of late effects and tumor control. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-402
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2000


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


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