Early hypofractionated salvage radiotherapy for postprostatectomy biochemical recurrence




Postprostatectomy adjuvant or salvage radiotherapy, when using standard fractionation, requires 6.5 to 8 weeks of treatment. The authors report on the safety and efficacy of an expedited radiotherapy course for salvage prostate radiotherapy.


A total of 108 consecutive patients were treated with salvage radiation therapy to 65 grays (Gy) in 26 fractions of 2.5 Gy. Median follow-up was 32.4 months. Median presalvage prostate-specific antigen (PSA) was 0.44 (range, 0.05-9.50). Eighteen (17%) patients received androgen deprivation after surgery or concurrently with radiation.


The actuarial freedom from biochemical failure for the entire group at 4 years was 67% ± 5.3%. An identical 67% control rate was seen at 5 years for the first 50 enrolled patients, whose median follow-up was longer at 43 months. One acute grade 3 genitourinary toxicity occurred, with no acute grade 3 gastrointestinal and no late grade 3 toxicities observed. On univariate analysis, higher Gleason score (P = .006), PSA doubling time ≤12 months (P = .03), perineural invasion (P = .06), and negative margins (P = .06) showed association with unsuccessful salvage. On multivariate analysis, higher Gleason score (P = .057) and negative margins (P = .088) retained an association with biochemical failure.


Hypofractionated radiotherapy (65 Gy in 2.5 Gy fractions in about 5 weeks) reduces the length of treatment by from 1-½ to 3 weeks relative to other treatment schedules commonly used, produces low rates of toxicity, and demonstrates encouraging efficacy at 4 to 5 years. Hypofractionation may provide a convenient, resource-efficient, and well-tolerated salvage approach for the estimated 20,000 to 35,000 US men per year experiencing biochemical recurrence after prostatectomy. Cancer 2011. © 2010 American Cancer Society.