Publications by authors named "Alexandre Mamedov"

46 Publications

Elective pelvic nodal irradiation with a simultaneous hypofractionated integrated prostate boost for localized high risk prostate cancer: Long term results from a prospective clinical trial.

Radiother Oncol 2021 Jul 26;163:21-31. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Canada; Department of Radiation Oncology, Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: To report on long-term results of elective pelvic nodal irradiation (EPNI) and a simultaneous hypofractionated prostate boost for high-risk prostate cancer.

Materials And Methods: This was a prospective single-arm study. Patients with high-risk disease (cT3, PSA >20 ng/mL, or Gleason score 8-10) were eligible. Patients received 45 Gy in 25 fractions to the prostate and pelvic lymph nodes with a simultaneous intensity-modulated radiotherapy boost of 22.5 Gy to the prostate (total dose 67.5 Gy in 25 fractions), with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for 2-3 years. The primary endpoint was biochemical failure. Secondary endpoints included distant metastases and overall survival. Multivariable analysis was performed to look for predictive factors. Late toxicity was assessed using CTCAE v3.0.

Results: 230 patients enrolled. Median follow-up was 11.2 years (IQR 8.1-12.9). At 10 years, cumulative incidence of biochemical failure was 33.4%, distant metastasis was 16.5%, and overall survival was 76.3%. On multivariable analysis, PSA nadir ≥0.05 ng/mL was associated with biochemical failure (HR 6.8, 95% CI 4-11.8, p < 0.001) and distant metastases (HR 7.5, 95% CI 3.9-14.5, p < 0.0001). PSA nadir ≥0.1 ng/mL (HR 5.2, 95% 2.2-12, p = 0.0001) and ADT use ≤12 months (versus >24 months) (HR 2.3, 95% CI 1.3-3.9, p = 0.004) were associated with worse survival. The 5-year cumulative incidence of any late grade ≥3 gastrointestinal and genitourinary toxicity was 2.3% and 7.5%, respectively.

Conclusion: EPNI and a simultaneous hypofractionated prostate boost combined with long-term ADT for high-risk prostate cancer resulted in acceptable 10-year biochemical control and survival with low grade ≥3 toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2021.07.018DOI Listing
July 2021

Patient-reported fatigue refines prognosis in higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS): a MDS-CAN study.

Br J Haematol 2021 Jul 31;194(2):319-324. Epub 2021 May 31.

Haematology/Oncology, Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

The incorporation of patient-reported outcomes with traditional disease risk classification was found to strengthen survival prediction in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). In the present Canadian MDS registry analysis, we validate a recently reported prognostic model, the Fatigue-International Prognostic Scoring System among higher-risk patients [FA-IPSS(h)], which incorporates patients' reported fatigue, assessed by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life-Core 30 (QLQ-C30), with a threshold of ≥45 points, in higher IPSS score, stratifying them into distinct subgroups with different survival outcomes. We further validated this concept, using the Revised IPSS >3·5 as cut-off for the definition of higher-risk MDS, and patients' reported fatigue according to Edmonton Symptom Self-Assessment Scale (ESAS) Global Fatigue Scale (GFS), a single-item fatigue rating scale, which is easier to deploy. This emphasises the power of self-reported fatigue at refining overall survival predictions in higher-risk MDS and further bolsters the importance of considering patient-related outcomes in global assessments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17537DOI Listing
July 2021

Prostate high dose-rate brachytherapy as monotherapy for prostate cancer: Late toxicity and patient reported outcomes from a randomized phase II clinical trial.

Radiother Oncol 2021 03 4;156:160-165. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. Electronic address:

Background And Purpose: Long-term toxicity of high dose-rate brachytherapy as monotherapy for prostate cancer is not well defined. We report late toxicity and health related quality of life (HRQOL) changes from a randomized phase II clinical trial of two different fractionation schemes.

Materials And Methods: Eligible patients had NCCN low or intermediate risk prostate cancer. 170 patients were randomized to receive either a single 19 Gy or two-fractions of 13.5 Gy one week apart. Toxicity was measured using Common Terminology for Adverse Events (CTCAE) v4.0, and HRQOL was measured using the Expanded Prostate Index Composite (EPIC).

Results: Median follow-up was 63 months. The 5-year cumulative incidence of Grade 2 or higher genitourinary (GU) and gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity was 62% and 12% in the single-fraction arm, and 47% and 9% in the two-fraction arm, respectively. Grade 3 GU toxicity was only seen in the single fraction arm with a cumulative incidence of 2%. The 5-year prevalence of Grade 2 GU toxicity was 29% and 21%, in the single- and two-fraction arms, respectively, with Grade 2 GI toxicity of 1% and 2%. Beyond the first year, no significant differences in mean urinary HRQOL were seen compared to baseline in the two-fraction arm, in contrast to the single-fraction arm where a decline in urinary HRQOL was seen at 4 and 5 years. Sexual HRQOL was significantly reduced in both treatment arms at all timepoints, with no changes in the bowel domain.

Conclusions: HDR monotherapy is well tolerated with minimal impact on HRQOL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2020.12.021DOI Listing
March 2021

Single-fraction HDR brachytherapy as monotherapy in low and intermediate risk prostate cancer: Outcomes from two clinical trials with and without an MRI-guided boost.

Radiother Oncol 2021 01 10;154:29-35. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada; Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Canada. Electronic address:

Purpose: Single-fraction HDR monotherapy for the treatment of localized prostate cancer is appealing, but published outcomes are discouraging. An approach to improve local control is MRI-guided focal dose-escalation to the dominant intraprostatic lesion (DIL). Here we report a comparison of outcomes from two phase II clinical trials with and without a focal boost.

Methods: Patients had low or intermediate-risk disease. Patients in Trial1 received a single 19 Gy HDR implant to the whole prostate. Trial2 incorporated an additional MRI-guided focal DIL boost to at least 23 Gy. ADT was not allowed. Toxicities (CTCAEv4.0) and quality of life (EPIC) were collected. Biochemical failure (BF) was defined as nadir +2. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to search for predictors of BF.

Results: Trial1 had 87 patients with a median follow-up of 62 months, while Trial2 had 60 patients with a median follow-up of 50 months. The five-year cumulative BF rate was 32.6% and 31.3%, respectively (p = 0.9). 77.5% of failures were biopsy-confirmed local failures, all of which underwent local salvage therapy. The addition of a DIL boost was not associated with worse toxicity or QOL. Baseline PSA and Gleason score correlated with BF, but none of the dosimetric parameters was a significant predictor of BF.

Conclusions: MRI-guided focal boost was safe and well tolerated, but did not improve local control after 19 Gy single-fraction HDR monotherapy, and the control rates were unacceptable. Single-fraction HDR monotherapy for prostate cancer should not be offered outside of clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2020.09.007DOI Listing
January 2021

Accelerating prostate stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy: Efficacy and toxicity of a randomized phase II study of 11 versus 29 days overall treatment time (PATRIOT).

Radiother Oncol 2020 08 27;149:8-13. Epub 2020 Apr 27.

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada; Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada; Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: Prostate stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) regimens differ in time, dose, and fractionation. We report an update of a multicentre, Canadian randomized phase II study to investigate the impact of overall treatment time on quality of life (QOL), efficacy, and toxicity.

Methods: Men with intermediate risk prostate cancer were randomized to 40 Gy in 5 fractions delivered every other day (EOD) versus once per week (QW). Primary outcome was proportion of patients experiencing a minimally clinically important change (MCIC) in acute bowel QOL using EPIC. Secondary outcomes were toxicity, biochemical failure (BF), other QOL domains, and the rate of salvage therapy.

Findings: 152 men from 3 centers were randomized; the median follow-up was 62 months. Results are described for EOD versus QW. Acute bowel and urinary QOL was reported previously. Late changes in QOL were not significantly different between the two arms. There were 1 (1.3%) vs 3 (2.7%) late grade 3 + GI toxicities (p = 0.36) and 5 (6.7%) vs 2 (2.7%) late grade 3 GU toxicities (p = 0.44). Two and 5 patients had BF (5-year failure rate 3.0 vs 7.2%, p = 0.22); 0 and 4 patients received salvage therapy (p = 0.04). 5-Year OS and CSS was 95.8% and 98.6% with no difference between arms (p = 0.49, p = 0.15). 3 patients in the QW arm developed metastases.

Interpretation: Although we previously reported that weekly prostate SABR had better bowel and urinary QOL compared to EOD, the updated results show no difference in late toxicity, QOL, BF, or PSA kinetics. Patients should be counseled that QW SABR reduces short-term toxicity compared to QW SABR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2020.04.039DOI Listing
August 2020

Impact of Biopsy Compliance on Outcomes for Patients on Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer.

J Urol 2020 11 24;204(5):934-940. Epub 2020 Apr 24.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Odette Cancer Center, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Purpose: Active surveillance for prostate cancer relies on regular prostate specific antigen tests and surveillance biopsies. Compliance rates with biopsies vary but the subsequent impact on oncologic outcomes is not known. The objective of this study was to determine whether noncompliance with the confirmatory biopsy negatively impacts prostate cancer specific outcomes.

Materials And Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed on a prospective single-arm cohort of men enrolled in active surveillance for prostate cancer between 1995 and 2018 with a median followup of 9.1 years. A total of 1,275 patients were enrolled and 1,043 had a minimum of 3 years of followup and were included in the analysis. Patients were stratified by compliance with a confirmatory biopsy within 24 months of enrollment in active surveillance. The primary outcome was recurrence-free survival. Secondary outcomes included metastatic-free survival and cause specific survival.

Results: A total of 1,275 patients were enrolled, and 1,043 had a minimum of 3 years of followup and were included in the analysis, of whom 425 were treated for localized prostate cancer. Patients noncompliant with the confirmatory biopsy had higher rates of recurrence after treatment (19% vs 12%, HR 1.64, 95% CI 1.19-2.26, p=0.003) and metastases (7% vs 2%, HR 3.56, 95% CI 1.8-7.0, p=0.0003) even after accounting for age, prostate specific antigen and Grade Group. Cause specific survival was not significantly different between the 2 groups. The results were consistent even in the subset of patients with Grade Group 1 disease at study entry.

Conclusions: Noncompliance with a confirmatory biopsy compromises the control of prostate cancer in men followed on active surveillance. Patients and physicians should be aware of the importance of adhering to protocol for men on active surveillance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000001091DOI Listing
November 2020

Prostate high dose-rate brachytherapy as monotherapy for low and intermediate risk prostate cancer: Efficacy results from a randomized phase II clinical trial of one fraction of 19 Gy or two fractions of 13.5 Gy.

Radiother Oncol 2020 05 5;146:90-96. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre, University of Toronto, Canada.

Background And Purpose: High dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy as monotherapy is a treatment option for localized prostate cancer, but optimal dose and fractionation is unknown. We report efficacy results of a randomized phase II trial of HDR monotherapy delivered as either one or two fractions.

Materials And Methods: Eligible patients had low or intermediate risk prostate cancer, prostate volume <60 cc, and no androgen deprivation use. 170 patients were randomized to receive HDR as either a single fraction of 19 Gy or as two fractions of 13.5 Gy one week apart. Median age was 65 years, median PSA was 6.33 ng/ml, and Grade Group 1, 2 and 3 was present in 28%, 60%, and 12%, respectively. There was no difference in baseline factors between arms and 19%, 51% and 30% had low risk, favourable intermediate and unfavourable intermediate risk disease, respectively. The Phoenix definition was used to define biochemical failure, all local failures were confirmed by biopsy and toxicity was assessed using CTCAE v.4.

Results: Median follow-up was 60 months. PSA decreased more quickly in the 2-fraction arm (p = 0.009). Median PSA at 5-years was 0.65 ng/ml in the single fraction and 0.16 ng/ml in the 2-fraction arm. The 5-year biochemical disease-free survival and cumulative incidence of local failure was 73.5% and 29% in the single fraction arm and 95% (p = 0.001) and 3% (p < 0.001) in the 2-fraction arm, respectively. Recurrence was not associated with initial stage, grade group, or risk group. Grade 2 late rectal toxicity occurred in 1% while the incidence of grade 2 and 3 urinary toxicity was 45% and 1%, respectively, with no difference between arms.

Conclusions: HDR monotherapy delivered as two fraction of 13.5 Gy is well tolerated with a high cancer control rate at 5 years. Single fraction monotherapy is inferior and should not be used.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2020.02.009DOI Listing
May 2020

Dosimetric predictors of toxicity and quality of life following prostate stereotactic ablative radiotherapy.

Radiother Oncol 2020 03 3;144:135-140. Epub 2019 Dec 3.

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada; Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada; Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Canada. Electronic address:

Purpose: SABR offers an effective treatment option for clinically localized prostate cancer. Here we report the dosimetric predictors of late toxicity and quality of life (QOL) in a pooled cohort of patients from four phase II trials.

Methods: The combined cohort included all three prostate cancer risk groups. The prescription dose was 35-40 Gy in 5 fractions. Toxicity (CTCAE) and QOL (EPIC) were collected. Multiple dosimetric parameters for the bladder, rectum and penile bulb were collected. Univariate (UVA) followed by multivariate (MVA) logistic regression analysis was conducted to search for significant dosimetric predictors of late GI/GU toxicity, or minimal clinically important change in the relevant QOL domain.

Results: 258 patients were included with median follow up of 6.1 years. For QOL, bladder Dmax, V38, D1cc, D2cc, D5cc and rectal V35 were predictors of urinary and bowel MCIC on UVA. On MVA, only bladder V38 remained significant. For late toxicity, various parameters were significant on UVA but only rectal Dmax, V38 and bladder D2cc were significant predictors on MVA.

Conclusions: This report confirms that the high-dose regions in the bladder and rectum are more significant predictors of late toxicity and QOL after prostate SABR compared to low-dose regions. Caution must be taken to avoid high doses and hotspots in those organs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2019.11.017DOI Listing
March 2020

Two versus five stereotactic ablative radiotherapy treatments for localized prostate cancer: A quality of life analysis of two prospective clinical trials.

Radiother Oncol 2019 11 29;140:105-109. Epub 2019 Jun 29.

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada; Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Canada. Electronic address:

Purpose: Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) is appealing for prostate cancer (PCa) due to low α/β, and increasing the dose per fraction could improve the therapeutic index and lead to a better quality of life (QOL). Here we report the outcomes of a QOL comparison between two phase II clinical trials: two vs. five fraction prostate SABR.

Methods: Patients had low or intermediate risk PCa. The doses prescribed were 26 Gy/2 and 40 Gy/5. Expanded prostate cancer index composite was collected. Urinary, bowel and sexual domains were analyzed. Minimal clinically important change (MCIC) was defined as >0.5 standard deviation.

Results: 30 and 152 patients were treated with 2-fraction and 5-fraction SABR. Median follow-up was 55 and 62 months. Five-year biochemical failure rate was 3.3% and 4.6%. The 2-fraction cohort had a significantly better mean QOL over time in the bowel domain (p = 0.0004), without a significant difference in the urinary or sexual domains. The 2-fraction cohort had a significantly lower rate of bowel MCIC (17.8% vs 42.3%, p = 0.01), but there was no difference in urinary (24.1% vs 35.7%) or sexual (15.3% vs 29.2%) MCIC. For MCIC x2 (moderate QOL change), the 2-fraction trial had significantly lower MCIC rates in both the bowel (7.1% vs 24%, p = 0.04) and sexual (0 vs 17.6%, p = 0.01) domains.

Conclusions: 2-Fraction SABR is feasible to deliver and well tolerated, with significant signals of improved bowel and sexual QOL. A randomized trial of two vs. five fractions for prostate SABR is needed to confirm the promising findings of this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2019.06.018DOI Listing
November 2019

Consistent Biopsy Quality and Gleason Grading Within the Global Active Surveillance Global Action Plan 3 Initiative: A Prerequisite for Future Studies.

Eur Urol Oncol 2019 05 13;2(3):333-336. Epub 2018 Sep 13.

Kan-tonsspital Baden, Baden, Switzerland.

Within the Movember Foundation's Global Action Plan Prostate Cancer Active Surveillance (GAP3) initiative, 25 centers across the globe collaborate to standardize active surveillance (AS) protocols for men with low-risk prostate cancer (PCa). A centralized PCa AS database, comprising data of more than 15000 patients worldwide, was created. Comparability of the histopathology between the different cohorts was assessed by a centralized pathology review of 445 biopsies from 15 GAP3 centers. Grade group 1 (Gleason score 6) in 85% and grade group ≥2 (Gleason score ≥7) in 15% showed 89% concordance at review with moderate agreement (κ=0.56). Average biopsy core length was similar among the analyzed cohorts. Recently established highly adverse pathologies, including cribriform and/or intraductal carcinoma, were observed in 3.6% of the reviewed biopsies. In conclusion, the centralized pathology review of 445 biopsies revealed comparable histopathology among the 15 GAP3 centers with a low frequency of high-risk features. This enables further data analyses-without correction-toward uniform global AS guidelines for men with low-risk PCa. PATIENT SUMMARY: Movember Foundation's Global Action Plan Prostate Cancer Active Surveillance (GAP3) initiative combines data from 15000 men with low-risk prostate cancer (PCa) across the globe to standardize active surveillance protocols. Histopathology review confirmed that the histopathology was consistent with low-risk PCa in most men and comparable between different centers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2018.08.017DOI Listing
May 2019

5-Year Outcomes of a Prospective Phase 1/2 Study of Accelerated Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy to the Prostate Bed.

Pract Radiat Oncol 2019 Sep - Oct;9(5):354-361. Epub 2019 May 16.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto; Institute for Health Policy, Measurement and Evaluation, University of Toronto. Electronic address:

Purpose: To report the 5-year outcomes from a single institution, prospective, phase 1/2 study on hypofractionated, accelerated radiation therapy to the prostate bed after radical prostatectomy.

Methods And Materials: Patients enrolled in this study were all eligible for postoperative radiation therapy and received a prescribed dose of 51 Gy in 17 fractions to the prostate bed. On follow-up, gastrointestinal (GI) and genitourinary (GU) toxicity was assessed using the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 3.0; prostate-specific antigen (PSA) was evaluated and quality of life was assessed using the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC) questionnaire.

Results: A total of 30 patients were enrolled between 2008 and 2011. Median age was 65 (52-75) years. Median pretreatment PSA was 0.12 ng/mL (0.01-1.42). Twenty-six (93%) patients had Gleason ≤7 disease, 13 (43%) had pT3 disease, and 20 (67%) had positive margins. Twenty-six patients (87%) underwent radiation therapy as salvage treatment. After a median follow-up of 6.4 (2.1-8.1) years, no patient experienced Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events grade 3/4 toxicity. Eleven patients (37%) had grade 2 genitourinary and 2 (7%) had grade 2 gastrointestinal toxicity. At baseline and 5 years after radiation therapy, mean EPIC urinary domain score was 80% (standard deviation, 18%) and 82% (17%). Mean EPIC bowel domain score was 93% (13%) and 93% (15%). One patient (4%) had a minimally clinically important change in urinary domain score and 1 patient (4%) had a minimally clinically important change in bowel domain score. Nelson-Aalen estimated cumulative incidence of biochemical failure was 31% (nadir +0.2) and 18% (nadir +2.0) at 5 years. Four-year PSA ≥0.4 was predictive of subsequent androgen deprivation therapy use (Nelson-Aalen cumulative incidence: 1.45; P < .0001). Five patients (17%) received hormonal therapy for biochemical failure. Nelson-Aalen estimated cumulative incidence of hormone therapy use was 14% at 5 years. All patients who received hormone therapy had PSA >0.4 at 4 years.

Conclusions: In this phase 1/2 study, hypofractionated postoperative radiation therapy seems to have good clinical efficacy without significant late toxicity. Phase 3 studies are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prro.2019.04.010DOI Listing
January 2020

Two StereoTactic ablative radiotherapy treatments for localized prostate cancer (2STAR): Results from a prospective clinical trial.

Radiother Oncol 2019 06 19;135:86-90. Epub 2019 Mar 19.

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada; Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Canada; Department of Health Policy, Measurement and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Canada. Electronic address:

Purpose: Ultrahypofractionation is appealing for prostate cancer (PCa) due to low α/β, and increasing the dose per fraction could improve the therapeutic index. Here we report the outcomes of a phase II prostate SABR trial using two fractions.

Methods: Patients had low or intermediate risk prostate cancer. Three gold fiducials were implanted for image guidance. The clinical target volume (CTV) included the prostate only, and the planning target volume (PTV) was a 3 mm expansion enabled through the use of a rectal immobilization device. The dose prescribed was 26 Gy in 2 weekly fractions (EQD2 110 Gy). The primary endpoint was quality of life using EPIC, and minimal clinically important change (MCIC) was defined as an EPIC QOL decrease >0.5 SD.

Results: 30 patients were accrued with a median follow-up of 49.3 months. 10% had low-risk, 33% had favourable intermediate-risk and 57% had unfavourable intermediate-risk PCa. Five patients received a short course of ADT. Median nPSA was 0.2 ng/ml. One patient had BF and is being observed. 56.6% of patients had a 4yPSARR. Six (20.7%) patients had a MCIC in the urinary domain, 6 (21.4%) had a MCIC in the bowel domain, and 3 (20%) had a MCIC in the sexual domain.

Conclusions: Two-fraction SABR in prostate cancer is safe and feasible, with a minimal change in QOL and a low rate of late grade 3-4 toxicity. The PSA kinetics and biochemical control rates are encouraging given that the majority had unfavourable intermediate-risk disease, although longer follow-up is required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2019.03.002DOI Listing
June 2019

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Boost for Intermediate-Risk Prostate Cancer: A Phase 1 Dose-Escalation Study.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2019 08 16;104(5):1066-1073. Epub 2019 Apr 16.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre-Odette Cancer Centre, Toronto, Canada; Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. Electronic address:

Purpose: High-dose-rate brachytherapy boost plus external beam radiation therapy is an established option for intermediate-risk prostate cancer (PCa). Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) boost can potentially mimic high-dose-rate boost and could be a viable alternative. Here we report the long-term outcomes of a phase 1 dose-escalation trial of single-fraction SBRT boost.

Methods And Materials: Patients had intermediate-risk PCa and were accrued to 3 different SBRT single-fraction dose-level cohorts (10 Gy, 12.5 Gy, and 15 Gy). All received supplemental radiation therapy afterwards (37.5 Gy in 15 fractions). Three gold fiducials were implanted for image guidance. Patients were simulated and treated with a foley catheter and intrarectal balloon. A T2 magnetic resonance imaging scan was used for contouring, and a cine magnetic resonance imaging scan was used to calculate patient-specific internal target volume margins. Toxicity and quality-of-life data were collected using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v3.0 and the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite.

Results: 30 patients were accrued, 10 in each cohort. Median follow-up was 72 months. 60% had unfavorable intermediate-risk PCa. Two patients in the 15 Gy cohort developed late grade ≥3 gastrointestinal and genitourinary toxicity, with 1 patient suffering from a grade-4 rectal fistula after a rectal ulcer was biopsied repeatedly. Two patients had biochemical failure. Median PSA nadir was 0.4 ng/mL with 10 Gy, 0.09 ng/mL with 12.5 Gy and 0.07 ng/mL with 15 Gy. Median PSA at 4 years as well as proportion achieving a nadir <0.2 ng/mL improved significantly with higher doses. There was no significant change in quality of life from baseline in any of the domains, and the minimal clinically important change was not statistically different between the 3 cohorts.

Conclusions: Other than a grade 4 toxicity, which may in part be due to repeated biopsies of a rectal ulcer, single-fraction SBRT boost was feasible and well tolerated. Larger studies are warranted to better document the outcomes of such an approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2019.04.006DOI Listing
August 2019

The management and outcomes of patients with myelodysplastic syndrome with persistent severe thrombocytopenia: An observational single centre registry study.

Leuk Res 2019 01 11;76:76-81. Epub 2018 Dec 11.

Department of Hematology/Oncology, Odette Cancer Center, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Canada; Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: Severe thrombocytopenia affects 10% of patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and is associated with poor outcomes. The role for prophylactic platelet transfusions in the outpatient setting is unknown.

Objective/methods: To audit treatments, bleeding rates, and transfusion requirements of patients with MDS and persistent severe thrombocytopenia (PST) registered in a prospective MDS registry at our center.

Results: 99 (17%) of 586 total registry patients had PST; 28 were treated with tranexamic acid alone (TXA), 39 with TXA and prophylactic platelet transfusions (PROPH), 19 with PROPH alone, and 13 were untreated. Median duration of PST was 27 weeks and median overall survival was 0.9 years (95% CI 0.7-1.2). During the PST, 6% (6/99) of patients had a grade 4 bleeding event, from which 4 died. Platelet count at the time of grade 4 bleeding ranged from 2 to 19 × 10/L. 66% (27/41) of patients on TXA alone or untreated required no therapeutic platelet transfusions and experienced no grade 3-4 bleeds. There were no significant differences in grade 3-4 bleeding rates between groups.

Conclusions: Patients with MDS and PST had low rates of major bleeding but poor overall survival. Disparities in clinical practice likely relate to patient and provider heterogeneity and the lack of published evidence. The benefit of TXA and/or prophylactic platelet transfusions would be best evaluated by a randomized controlled trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2018.12.002DOI Listing
January 2019

Dose escalation for prostate stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR): Late outcomes from two prospective clinical trials.

Radiother Oncol 2018 May 24;127(2):213-218. Epub 2018 Mar 24.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada; Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; Institute of Health Policy, Measurement & Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. Electronic address:

Purpose: Optimal prostate SABR dose-fractionation is unknown. This study compares long-term outcomes from two prospective trials.

Methods: Study1 patients had low-risk PCa and received 35 Gy/5. Study2 patients had low/intermediate-risk PCa and received 40 Gy/5. Biochemical failure (BF) was defined as nadir + 2.

Results: 114 patients were included (study1, n = 84; study2, n = 30). Median follow-up was 9.6 years and 6.9 years. Median nPSA was 0.4 and 0.1 ng/ml. Nine patients had BF (8 in study1, 1 in study2); two were managed with ADT and four had local salvage. The BF rate was 2.5% and 12.8% at 5 and 10 years for study1 and 3.3% at 5 years for study 2. BF probability was 0% if PSA <0.4 at 4 years, and 20.5% at 10 years if PSA ≥0.4 (p = 0.02). Nine patients died, none of PCa. No patient has metastases or castrate-resistance. At 10 years, OS and CSS were 90.4% (p = 0.25) and 100%.

Conclusions: Dose-escalated prostate SABR was associated with lower nPSAs but no difference in BF, OS, CSS or MFS. PSA <0.4 at 4 years was a predictor of biochemical control. Half of patients with BF were successfully salvaged. Given that this is a favorable-risk cohort, longer follow-up will be needed to see if the lower nPSA translates into lower BF rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2018.03.005DOI Listing
May 2018

Once-weekly versus every-other-day stereotactic body radiotherapy in patients with prostate cancer (PATRIOT): A phase 2 randomized trial.

Radiother Oncol 2018 May 15;127(2):206-212. Epub 2018 Mar 15.

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada.

Background And Purpose: Prostate stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) regimens differ in time, dose, and fractionation. We completed a multicentre, randomized phase II study to investigate the impact of overall treatment time on quality of life (QOL).

Material And Methods: Men with low and intermediate-risk prostate cancer were randomly assigned to 40 Gy in 5 fractions delivered once per week (QW) vs. every other day (EOD). QOL was assessed using the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite. The primary endpoint was the proportion with a minimum clinically important change (MCIC) in bowel QOL during the acute (≤12 week) period, and analysis was by intention-to-treat. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01423474.

Results: 152 men from 3 centres were randomized with median follow-up of 47 months. Patients treated QW had superior acute bowel QOL with 47/69 (68%) reporting a MCIC compared to 63/70 (90%) treated EOD (p = 0.002). Fewer patients treated QW reported moderate-severe problems with bowel QOL during the acute period compared with EOD (14/70 [20%] vs. 40/70 [57%], p < 0.001). Acute urinary QOL was also better in the QW arm, with 52/67 (78%) vs 65/69 (94%) experiencing a MCIC (p = 0.006). There were no significant differences in late urinary or bowel QOL at 2 years or last follow-up.

Conclusion: Prostate SBRT delivered QW improved acute bowel and urinary QOL compared to EOD. Patients should be counselled regarding the potential for reduced short-term toxicity and improved QOL with QW prostate SBRT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2018.02.029DOI Listing
May 2018

Comparative Analysis of Biopsy Upgrading in Four Prostate Cancer Active Surveillance Cohorts.

Ann Intern Med 2018 01 28;168(1):1-9. Epub 2017 Nov 28.

From University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington; Technical University of Munich, Garching, Germany; The James Buchanan Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland; University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.

Background: Active surveillance (AS) is increasingly accepted for managing low-risk prostate cancer, yet there is no consensus about implementation. This lack of consensus is due in part to uncertainty about risks for disease progression, which have not been systematically compared or integrated across AS studies with variable surveillance protocols and dropout to active treatment.

Objective: To compare risks for upgrading from a Gleason score (GS) of 6 or less to 7 or more across AS studies after accounting for differences in surveillance intervals and competing treatments and to evaluate tradeoffs of more versus less frequent biopsies.

Design: Joint statistical model of longitudinal prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels and risks for biopsy upgrading.

Setting: Johns Hopkins University (JHU); Canary Prostate Active Surveillance Study (PASS); University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); and University of Toronto (UT) AS studies.

Patients: 2576 men aged 40 to 80 years with a GS between 2 and 6 and clinical stage T1 or T2 prostate cancer enrolled between 1995 and 2014.

Measurements: PSA levels and biopsy GSs.

Results: After variable surveillance intervals and competing treatments were accounted for, estimated risks for biopsy upgrading were similar in the PASS and UT studies but higher in UCSF and lower in JHU studies. All cohorts had a delay of 3 to 5 months in detecting upgrading with biennial biopsies starting after a first confirmatory biopsy versus annual biopsies.

Limitation: The model does not account for possible misclassification of biopsy GS.

Conclusion: Men in different AS studies have different risks for biopsy upgrading after variable surveillance protocols and competing treatments are accounted for. Despite these differences, the consequences of more versus less frequent biopsies seem to be similar across cohorts. Biennial biopsies seem to be an acceptable alternative to annual biopsies.

Primary Funding Source: National Cancer Institute.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7326/M17-0548DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5752581PMC
January 2018

Overall survival in lower IPSS risk MDS by receipt of iron chelation therapy, adjusting for patient-related factors and measuring from time of first red blood cell transfusion dependence: an MDS-CAN analysis.

Br J Haematol 2017 10 5;179(1):83-97. Epub 2017 Jul 5.

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Analyses suggest iron overload in red blood cell (RBC) transfusion-dependent (TD) patients with myleodysplastic syndrome (MDS) portends inferior overall survival (OS) that is attenuated by iron chelation therapy (ICT) but may be biassed by unbalanced patient-related factors. The Canadian MDS Registry prospectively measures frailty, comorbidity and disability. We analysed OS by receipt of ICT, adjusting for these patient-related factors. TD International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) low and intermediate-1 risk MDS, at RBC TD, were included. Predictive factors for OS were determined. A matched pair analysis considering age, revised IPSS, TD severity, time from MDS diagnosis to TD, and receipt of disease-modifying agents was conducted. Of 239 patients, 83 received ICT; frailty, comorbidity and disability did not differ from non-ICT patients. Median OS from TD was superior in ICT patients (5·2 vs. 2·1 years; P < 0·0001). By multivariate analysis, not receiving ICT independently predicted inferior OS, (hazard ratio for death 2·0, P = 0·03). In matched pair analysis, OS remained superior for ICT patients (P = 0·02). In this prospective, non-randomized analysis, receiving ICT was associated with superior OS in lower IPSS risk MDS, adjusting for age, frailty, comorbidity, disability, revised IPSS, TD severity, time to TD and receiving disease-modifying agents. This provides additional evidence that ICT may confer clinical benefit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.14825DOI Listing
October 2017

Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy in the treatment of low and intermediate risk prostate cancer: Is there an optimal dose?

Radiother Oncol 2017 06 19;123(3):478-482. Epub 2017 Apr 19.

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Canada; Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Canada; Institute of Health Policy, Measurement and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Canada. Electronic address:

Purpose: To investigate if stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) dose is associated with PSA at 3years (PSA) in the treatment of localized prostate cancer and to explore predictors of late genitourinary (GU) toxicity.

Materials And Methods: Three prospective trials of SABR were undertaken at our institution: 1) 35Gy/5 fractions/29days; 2) 40Gy/5 fractions/29days; 3) 40Gy/5 fractions/11 or 29days. PSA was analyzed as a continuous variable. Toxicity was defined as the worst new toxicity and assessed using the radiation therapy oncology group (RTOG) late morbidity scheme. Univariate and multivariable regression analyses were conducted to assess the association between dose and PSA, and to explore predictors of late grade 2+ GU toxicity.

Results: Median PSA3y was 0.64 (intraquartile range (IQR): 0.41-1.12) and 0.27 (IQR: 0.12-0.55) ng/mL for patients treated with 35 and 40Gy respectively. A dose of 40Gy was an independent predictor of lower PSA on multivariable analysis (p<0.001). Dose of 40Gy (odds ratio (OR): 16.69, 95%CI: 5.78, 48.20, p<0.001) and higher International Prostate Symptom Score (OR: 1.01, 95%CI: 1.04, 1.16, p=0.001) predicted for late grade 2+ GU toxicity on multivariable logistic regression.

Conclusions: This analysis suggests that higher SABR dose is associated with lower PSA. Strategies to allow safe SABR dose escalation should be further investigated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2017.03.006DOI Listing
June 2017

Prostate high dose-rate brachytherapy as monotherapy for low and intermediate risk prostate cancer: Early toxicity and quality-of life results from a randomized phase II clinical trial of one fraction of 19Gy or two fractions of 13.5Gy.

Radiother Oncol 2017 01 4;122(1):87-92. Epub 2016 Nov 4.

Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre, University of Toronto, Canada.

Background And Purpose: Multi-fraction high dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy as monotherapy is safe and effective for low and intermediate risk prostate cancer. Two or single fraction regimens have some radiobiological rationale. The purpose is to determine toxicity and effect on health related quality of life (HRQOL) of single fraction 19Gy or 13.5Gy×2.

Materials And Methods: Eligible patients had low or intermediate risk prostate cancer, prostate volume <60cc, and no androgen deprivation use. 170 patients were randomized to receive either a single 19Gy or two fractions of 13.5Gy 1week apart. HRQOL was measured using the Expanded Prostate Index Composite (EPIC), toxicity with Common Terminology for Adverse Events (CTCAE) v4.0 and urinary symptoms with the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS).

Results: Median follow-up is 20months. Grade 2 urinary toxicity occurred in 51% within the first 3months and in 31% thereafter with no significant difference between treatment arms. Ten patients (6%) developed urinary retention in the acute phase, although only 4 (2.4%) required a catheter for more than 48h. One Grade 3 acute (⩽3months) and late (>3months) urinary toxicity occurred. No more than 1% had any Grade 2 GI toxicity. The 2-fraction arm had a higher occurrence of grade 2 erectile dysfunction (29% vs. 11.5%, p=0.0249) and higher IPSS scores for the first year. Mean EPIC urinary scores at 12months decreased by 4.0 and 4.6, and sexual scores decreased by 8 and 15.9 (p=0.035) in the single and 2-fraction arms, respectively. No change occurred in the bowel or hormonal domains.

Conclusions: Single 19Gy and 13.5Gy×2 are both well tolerated. During the first 12months, urinary symptoms and erectile dysfunction are more common in the 2-fraction arm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2016.10.019DOI Listing
January 2017

Active Surveillance for Intermediate Risk Prostate Cancer: Survival Outcomes in the Sunnybrook Experience.

J Urol 2016 12 26;196(6):1651-1658. Epub 2016 Aug 26.

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Institute of Health Policy, Measurement and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Purpose: To assess the applicability of active surveillance in patients with intermediate risk prostate cancer, we compared the survival outcomes of patients with low risk and intermediate risk disease.

Materials And Methods: Active surveillance was offered to all patients with low risk (cT1-T2b and Gleason score 6 and prostate specific antigen 10 ng/ml or less) and select intermediate risk disease (age greater than 70 years with cT2c or prostate specific antigen 15 ng/ml or less, or Gleason score 3+4 or less). Data from November 1995 to May 2013 were extracted from a prospectively collected database. The primary outcome was metastasis-free survival, and secondary outcomes were overall survival, cause specific survival and treatment-free survival.

Results: A total of 213 intermediate risk and 732 low risk cases were identified. Median age was 72 years (IQR 67.3, 76.8) in the intermediate risk cohort and 67 years (IQR 60.6, 71.9) in the low risk group. Median followup was comparable (6.7 years for intermediate risk vs 6.5 years for low risk). Gleason 7 disease comprised 60% of the intermediate risk cohort. The 15-year metastasis-free, overall, cause specific and treatment-free survival rates were inferior in the intermediate risk group (metastasis-free survival HR 3.14, 95% CI 1.51-6.53, p=0.001, 82% for intermediate risk vs 95% for low risk). On further evaluation the estimated 15-year metastasis-free survival for cases of Gleason 6 or less with prostate specific antigen less than 10 ng/ml was 94%, Gleason 6 or less with prostate specific antigen 10 to 20 ng/ml was 94%, Gleason 3+4 with prostate specific antigen 20 ng/ml or less was 84% and Gleason 4+3 with prostate specific antigen 20 ng/ml or less was 63%.

Conclusions: These data support the use of active surveillance in low risk and intermediate risk cases of Gleason 6 but not Gleason 7 prostate cancer. Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging and novel biomarkers might be vital in detecting favorable Gleason 7 disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.juro.2016.06.102DOI Listing
December 2016

Dose-Escalated Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer: Quality-of-Life Comparison of Two Prospective Trials.

Front Oncol 2016 29;6:185. Epub 2016 Aug 29.

University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Introduction: The optimal prostate stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) dose-fractionation scheme is controversial. This study compares long-term quality of life (QOL) from two prospective trials of prostate SBRT to investigate the effect of increasing dose (NCT01578902 and NCT01146340).

Material And Methods: Patients with localized prostate cancer received SBRT 35 or 40 Gy delivered in five fractions, once per week. QOL was measured using the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite at baseline and every 6 months. Fisher's exact test and generalized estimating equations were used to analyze proportions of patients with clinically significant change and longitudinal changes in QOL.

Results: One hundred fourteen patients were included, 84 treated with 35 Gy and 30 treated with 40 Gy. Median QOL follow-up was 56 months [interquartile range (IQR) 46-60] and 38 months (IQR 32-42), respectively. The proportion of patients reporting clinically significant declines in average urinary, bowel, and sexual scores were not significantly different between dose levels, and were 20.5 vs. 24.1% (p = 0.60), 26.8 vs. 41.4% (p = 0.16), and 42.9 vs. 38.5% (p = 0.82), respectively. Similarly, longitudinal analysis did not identify significant differences in QOL between treatment groups.

Conclusion: Dose-escalated prostate SBRT from 35 to 40 Gy in five fractions was not associated with significant decline in long-term QOL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2016.00185DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5002986PMC
September 2016

Predictive Parameters of Symptomatic Hematochezia Following 5-Fraction Gantry-Based SABR in Prostate Cancer.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2016 Apr 23;94(5):1043-51. Epub 2015 Dec 23.

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Department of Health Policy, Measurement and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Purpose: This study identified predictors of high-grade late hematochezia (HH) following 5-fraction gantry-based stereotactic ablative radiation therapy (SABR).

Methods And Materials: Hematochezia data for 258 patients who received 35 to 40 Gy SABR in 5-fractions as part of sequential phase 2 prospective trials was retrieved. Grade 2 or higher late rectal bleeding was labeled HH. Hematochezia needing steroid suppositories, 4% formalin, or 1 to 2 sessions of argon plasma coagulation (APC) was labeled grade 2. More than 2 sessions of APC, blood transfusion, or a course of hyperbaric oxygen was grade 3 and development of visceral fistula, grade 4. Various dosimetric and clinical factors were analyzed using univariate and multivariate analyses. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis and recursive partitioning analysis were used to determine clinically valid cut-off points and identify risk groups, respectively.

Results: HH was observed in 19.4%, grade ≥3 toxicity in 3.1%. Median follow-up was 29.7 months (interquartile range [IQR]: 20.6-61.7) Median time to develop HH was 11.7 months (IQR: 9.0-15.2) from the start of radiation. At 2 years, cumulative HH was 4.9%, 27.2%, and 42.1% in patients who received 35 Gy to prostate (4-mm planning target volume [PTV] margin), 40 Gy to prostate (5-mm PTV margin), and 40 Gy to prostate/seminal vesicles (5-mm PTV margin), respectively (P<.0001). In the ROC analysis, volume of rectum receiving radiation dose of 38 Gy (V38) was a strong predictor of HH with an area under the curve of 0.65. In multivariate analysis, rectal V38 (≥2.0 cm(3); odds ratio [OR]: 4.7); use of anticoagulants in the follow-up period (OR: 6.5) and presence of hemorrhoids (OR: 2.7) were the strongest predictors. Recursive partitioning analysis showed rectal V38 < 2.0 cm(3), and use of anticoagulants or rectal V38 ≥ 2.0 cm(3) plus 1 other risk factor resulted in an HH risk of >30%.

Conclusions: Rectal V38 and 2 clinical factors were strong predictors of HH following 5-fraction SABR. Planning constraints should keep rectal V38 below 2.0 cm(3).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2015.12.010DOI Listing
April 2016

Dose-escalation of five-fraction SABR in prostate cancer: Toxicity comparison of two prospective trials.

Radiother Oncol 2016 Jan 12;118(1):112-7. Epub 2016 Jan 12.

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Canada; Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Canada; Institute of Health Policy, Measurement and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Canada. Electronic address:

Purpose: To compare biochemical outcome and toxicities of two prospective 5-fraction stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) studies in prostate cancer.

Materials And Methods: 84 patients in pHART3 received 35 Gy, 30 patients in pHART6 received 40 Gy in 5-fractions to the prostate alone, once weekly. 4mm and 5mm PTV margins were used, respectively. Biochemical outcome, acute, late and cumulative genitourinary (GU)/gastrointestinal (GI) toxicities were compared.

Results: Median follow-up was 74 and 36 months, respectively. Median prostate specific antigen nadir was 0.4 ng/ml and 0.3 ng/ml. 2-, 4- and 6-year biochemical relapse-free survival (bRFS-2+nadir) was 100%, 98.7% and 95.9% in pHART3; 100%, 100% and not reached in pHART6 (p=0.91). There was one acute grade 3 GU (retention) and late grade 4 GI (fistula) toxicity in pHART3, none in pHART6. One patient in each study had persisting grade 2+ toxicity at the last follow-up. pHART6 patients had a greater grade 2+ cumulative GU (5% versus 24.2%) and GI (7.6% versus 26.2%) toxicities.

Conclusions: Patients receiving dose-escalated SABR had slightly lower PSA nadir and similar bRFS, longer follow-up is needed to better estimate biochemical outcomes. There was a greater risk of grade 2 toxicity in pHART6 but not grade 3+ toxicities. Persisting toxicity at the last follow-up is similar.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2015.12.020DOI Listing
January 2016

Gleason Upgrading with Time in a Large Prostate Cancer Active Surveillance Cohort.

J Urol 2015 Jul 4;194(1):79-84. Epub 2015 Feb 4.

Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Purpose: We report the percentage of patients on active surveillance who had disease pathologically upgraded and factors that predict for upgrading on surveillance biopsies.

Materials And Methods: Patients in our active surveillance database with at least 1 repeat prostate biopsy were included. Histological upgrading was defined as any increase in primary or secondary Gleason grade on repeat biopsy. Multivariate analysis was used to determine baseline and dynamic factors associated with Gleason upgrading. This information was used to develop a nomogram to predict for upgrading or treatment in patients electing for active surveillance.

Results: Of 862 patients in our cohort 592 had 2 or more biopsies. Median followup was 6.4 years. Of the patients 20% were intermediate risk, 0.3% were high risk and all others were low risk. During active surveillance 31.3% of cases were upgraded. On multivariate analysis clinical stage T2, higher prostate specific antigen and higher percentage of cores involved with disease at the time of diagnosis predicted for upgrading. A total of 27 cases (15% of those upgraded) were Gleason 8 or higher at upgrading, and 62% of all 114 upgraded cases went on to have active treatment. The nomogram incorporated clinical stage, age, prostate specific antigen, core positivity and Gleason score. The concordance index was 0.61.

Conclusions: In this large re-biopsy cohort with medium-term followup, most cases have not been pathologically upgraded to date. A model predicting for upgrading or radical treatment was developed which could be useful in counseling patients considering active surveillance for prostate cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.juro.2015.01.102DOI Listing
July 2015

Long-term follow-up of a large active surveillance cohort of patients with prostate cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2015 Jan 15;33(3):272-7. Epub 2014 Dec 15.

Laurence Klotz, Danny Vesprini, Perakaa Sethukavalan, Vibhuti Jethava, Liying Zhang, Suneil Jain, Toshihiro Yamamoto, and Andrew Loblaw, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto; and Alexandre Mamedov, Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Purpose: Active surveillance is increasingly accepted as a treatment option for favorable-risk prostate cancer. Long-term follow-up has been lacking. In this study, we report the long-term outcome of a large active surveillance protocol in men with favorable-risk prostate cancer.

Patients And Methods: In a prospective single-arm cohort study carried out at a single academic health sciences center, 993 men with favorable- or intermediate-risk prostate cancer were managed with an initial expectant approach. Intervention was offered for a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) doubling time of less than 3 years, Gleason score progression, or unequivocal clinical progression. Main outcome measures were overall and disease-specific survival, rate of treatment, and PSA failure rate in the treated patients.

Results: Among the 819 survivors, the median follow-up time from the first biopsy is 6.4 years (range, 0.2 to 19.8 years). One hundred forty-nine (15%) of 993 patients died, and 844 patients are alive (censored rate, 85.0%). There were 15 deaths (1.5%) from prostate cancer. The 10- and 15-year actuarial cause-specific survival rates were 98.1% and 94.3%, respectively. An additional 13 patients (1.3%) developed metastatic disease and are alive with confirmed metastases (n = 9) or have died of other causes (n = 4). At 5, 10, and 15 years, 75.7%, 63.5%, and 55.0% of patients remained untreated and on surveillance. The cumulative hazard ratio for nonprostate-to-prostate cancer mortality was 9.2:1.

Conclusion: Active surveillance for favorable-risk prostate cancer is feasible and seems safe in the 15-year time frame. In our cohort, 2.8% of patients have developed metastatic disease, and 1.5% have died of prostate cancer. This mortality rate is consistent with expected mortality in favorable-risk patients managed with initial definitive intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2014.55.1192DOI Listing
January 2015

A comparative study of quality of life in patients with localized prostate cancer treated at a single institution: stereotactic ablative radiotherapy or external beam+high dose rate brachytherapy boost.

Radiother Oncol 2014 Dec 14;113(3):404-9. Epub 2014 Nov 14.

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Canada; Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Canada; Institute for Health, Policy, Measurement and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Canada. Electronic address:

Purpose: To compare the quality of life (QOL) in patients treated with stereotactic ablative radiation therapy (SABR) alone or high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy+hypofractionated external beam radiotherapy (EBRT).

Methods And Materials: Patient self-reported QOL was prospectively measured among patients from two sequential phase 2 clinical trials: 1-SABR 35Gy/5fractions/5 weeks, 2-15Gy HDR 1 fraction, followed by EBRT 37.5Gy/15 fractions/3 weeks. The expanded prostate cancer index composite was assessed at baseline and q6 monthly up to 5 years. Urinary, bowel and sexual domains were analyzed. A minimally clinical important change (MCIC) was defined as 0.5*standard deviation of the baseline for each domain. Fisher exact test and general linear mixed model were used (p<0.05).

Results: 84 and 123 patients were treated on the SABR and HDR boost studies, with a median follow up of 51 and 61 months respectively. There was a significant difference in MCIC between treatments in the urinary function and bother (p<0.0001), the bowel function (p=0.0216) and the sexual function (p=0.0419) and bother (p=0.0290) domains in favor of the SABR group. Of patients who reported no problem with their sexual function at baseline, 7% and 23% respectively considered it to be a moderate to big problem on follow up (p=0.0077).

Conclusion: Patients treated with HDR-boost reported deterioration of QOL particularly in sexual domains in comparison with SABR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2014.10.013DOI Listing
December 2014

Improving clinical trial accrual through a novel feedback approach: Lessons learned from a single disease site group.

Pract Radiat Oncol 2015 Mar-Apr;5(2):70-3. Epub 2014 Jul 3.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada; Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada; Department of Health Policy, Measurement and Evaluation, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Purpose: Physician participation is critical for the success of clinical trials. Many efforts have been made to aid physicians with accrual. The aim of our study was to determine what impact a new feedback initiative had on clinical trial accrual and recruitment within a large disease site group.

Methods And Materials: A novel feedback initiative was implemented within a large multidisciplinary disease site group. Feedback on trial recruitment by physician and by study for the month and year to date was formally presented at the end of each trial month at weekly tumor board meetings. In addition, the feedback was sent via email. Trial recruitment was assessed both preintervention and postintervention.

Results: A 9-month reporting period both preintervention and postintervention are reported. Total accruals within each observation window were 79 versus 209 patients, respectively. Preintervention, the mean number of patients accrued per month was 8.44 (range, 2-16). Postintervention, the mean number of patients accrued was 23.2 (range, 14-48). Preintervention, physicians only accrued to trials within their specialty. Postintervention, this improved by 4% monthly.

Conclusions: Physicians play a key role in the success of clinical trials. By adopting a simple monthly feedback communication initiative, we were able to improve clinical trial accruals. Long-term assessment is required to understand longitudinal impact on accrual rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prro.2014.05.009DOI Listing
December 2015

Dosimetric and patient correlates of quality of life after prostate stereotactic ablative radiotherapy.

Radiother Oncol 2014 Jul 5;112(1):83-8. Epub 2014 Jul 5.

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Canada; Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Canada; Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Canada. Electronic address:

Background And Purpose: Initial results of Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy (SABR) in the treatment of localized prostate cancer appear promising however long-term quality of life (QOL) outcomes and dosimetric correlates are necessary.

Material And Methods: A phase I/II study was performed where low risk prostate cancer patients received SABR 35 Gy in 5 fractions, once weekly. Patient self-reported QOL was measured using the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC) at baseline and q6 month up to 5 years. Urinary, bowel and sexual domains were analyzed. A minimally clinical important change (MCIC) was defined as 0.5∗standard deviation of the baseline. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were used to identify dosimetric predictors of MCIC.

Results: 84 patients were included. The median follow-up was 50.8 months (interquartile range [IQR], 44.7-56.3). 17.9%, 26.2% and 37.5% of patients reported worse QOL on follow up in the urinary, bowel and sexual domains respectively. On univariate analysis Rectal V31.8>10%, D1cc>35 Gy were associated with bowel MCIC, penile bulb (PB) V35>4%, V20>40% with sexual MCIC. Of these factors only rectal D1cc and PB V35 were predictors of worse QOL on multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: Long-term single-institution QOL outcomes are encouraging. Rigorous dosimetric constraints are needed to keep bothersome side effects low.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2014.06.009DOI Listing
July 2014
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