Risk factors for late bowel and bladder toxicities in NRG Oncology prostate cancer trials of high-risk patients: A meta-analysis of physician-rated toxicities

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Advances in Radiation Oncology


Purpose: A meta-analysis of sociodemographic variables and their association with late (>180 days from start of radiation therapy[RT]) bowel, bladder, and clustered bowel and bladder toxicities was conducted in patients with high-risk (clinical stages T2c-T4b or Gleason score 8-10 or prostate-specific antigen level >20) prostate cancer.

Methods and materials: Three NRG trials (RTOG 9202, RTOG 9413, and RTOG 9406) that accrued from 1992 to 2000 were used. Late toxicities were measured with the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Late Radiation Morbidity Scale. After controlling for study, age, Karnofsky Performance Status, and year of accrual, sociodemographic variables were added to the model for each outcome variable of interest in a stepwise fashion using the Fine-Gray regression models with an entry criterion of 0.05.

Results: A total of 2432 patients were analyzed of whom most were Caucasian (76%), had a KPS score of 90 to 100 (92%), and received whole-pelvic RT+HT (67%). Of these patients, 13 % and 16% experienced late grade ≥2 bowel and bladder toxicities, respectively, and 2% and 3% experienced late grade ≥3 bowel and bladder toxicities, respectively. Late grade ≥2 clustered bowel and bladder toxicities were seen in approximately 1% of patients and late grade ≥3 clustered toxicities were seen in 2 patients (

Conclusions: Patients with high-risk prostate cancer who receive whole-pelvic RT+LT HT are more likely to have a grade ≥2 bowel toxicity than those who receive prostate-only RT. LT bowel and bladder toxicities were infrequent. Future studies will need to confirm these findings utilizing current radiation technology and patient-reported outcomes.

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