Adaptive image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) eliminates the risk of biochemical failure caused by the bias of rectal distension in prostate cancer treatment planning: Clinical evidence

Sean S. Park, Di Yan, Samuel McGrath, Joshua T. Dilworth, Jian Liang, Hong Ye, Daniel J. Krauss, Alvaro A. Martinez, Larry L. Kestin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations


Purpose: Rectal distension has been shown to decrease the probability of biochemical control. Adaptive image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) corrects for target position and volume variations, reducing the risk of biochemical failure while yielding acceptable rates of gastrointestinal (GI)/genitourinary (GU) toxicities. Methods and Materials: Between 1998 and 2006, 962 patients were treated with computed tomography (CT)-based offline adaptive IGRT. Patients were stratified into low (n = 400) vs. intermediate/high (n = 562) National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) risk groups. Target motion was assessed with daily CT during the first week. Electronic portal imaging device (EPID) was used to measure daily setup error. Patient-specific confidence-limited planning target volumes (cl-PTV) were then constructed, reducing the standard PTV and compensating for geometric variation of the target and setup errors. Rectal volume (RV), cross-sectional area (CSA), and rectal volume from the seminal vesicles to the inferior prostate (SVP) were assessed on the planning CT. The impact of these volumetric parameters on 5-year biochemical control (BC) and chronic Grades ≥2 and 3 GU and GI toxicity were examined. Results: Median follow-up was 5.5 years. Median minimum dose covering cl-PTV was 75.6 Gy. Median values for RV, CSA, and SVP were 82.8 cm 3, 5.6 cm 2, and 53.3 cm 3, respectively. The 5-year BC was 89% for the entire group: 96% for low risk and 83% for intermediate/high risk (p < 0.001). No statistically significant differences in BC were seen with stratification by RV, CSA, and SVP in quartiles. Maximum chronic Grades ≥2 and 3 GI toxicities were 21.2% and 2.9%, respectively. Respective values for GU toxicities were 15.5% and 4.3%. No differences in GI or GU toxicities were noted when patients were stratified by RV. Conclusions: Incorporation of adaptive IGRT reduces the risk of geometric miss and results in excellent biochemical control that is independent of rectal volume/distension while maintaining very low rates of chronic GI toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-952
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012



  • Biochemical failure
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rectal distension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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