Health-related quality of life using intensity-modulated radiation therapy for post-prostatectomy radiotherapy


  • KL van Gysen MBChB; AB Kneebone FRANZCR; L Guo BSc, MHSc; KJ Vaux FRACS; EM Lazzaro FRACS; TN Eade FRANZCR.
  • Conflict of interest: None.


A/Professor Andrew B. Kneebone, Northern Sydney Cancer Centre, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, Sydney, NSW 2065, Australia.




Post-prostatectomy radiotherapy (PPRT) with intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) has the potential to decrease toxicity by reducing dose to surrounding structures. We assessed its impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL).


PPRT patients were enrolled in a prospective HRQoL database. To be eligible, patients were required to be treated with IMRT and have a minimum of 15-month follow up. HRQoL was assessed at baseline, 3, 9 and 15–24 months using the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite questionnaire. Higher scores reflected better HRQoL. Results were analysed as both population means and as individual scores where a moderate change was 10–20 points and a substantial change was >20 points.


There were 64 patients eligible and 83% of the cohort received salvage radiotherapy. Prescribed dose was 64 Gy in 32 fractions for adjuvant and 66 Gy in 33 fractions for salvage IMRT. Mean function scores for urinary, bowel and sexual domains were similar at baseline and 15 months (83.5, 94.2 and 16.9 vs. 82.2, 93.1 and 14.3, respectively). Mean global physical functioning (51.0 vs. 48.1) and mental functioning (51.6 vs. 54.2) showed no difference over time. Individual patient scores by 2 years showed a >20-point deterioration in urinary (12.5%), bowel (1.6%), sexual function (9.4%), physical functioning (3.1%) and mental functioning (1.6%).


This report on HRQoL following post-prostatectomy IMRT demonstrates no variation in mean scores in any domain and only 1.6% of patients reporting a greater than 20-point deterioration between baseline and 15–24 months in bowel function.