Publications by authors named "Eric M Horwitz"

162 Publications

Mapping expanded prostate cancer index composite to EQ5D utilities to inform economic evaluations in prostate cancer: Secondary analysis of NRG/RTOG 0415.

PLoS One 2021 14;16(4):e0249123. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States of America.

Purpose: The Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC) is the most commonly used patient reported outcome (PRO) tool in prostate cancer (PC) clinical trials, but health utilities associated with the different health states assessed with this tool are unknown, limiting our ability to perform cost-utility analyses. This study aimed to map EPIC tool to EuroQoL-5D-3L (EQ5D) to generate EQ5D health utilities.

Methods And Materials: This is a secondary analysis of a prospective, randomized non-inferiority clinical trial, conducted between 04/2006 and 12/2009 at cancer centers across the United States, Canada, and Switzerland. Eligible patients included men >18 years with a known diagnosis of low-risk PC. Patient HRQoL data were collected using EPIC and health utilities were obtained using EQ5D. Data were divided into an estimation sample (n = 765, 70%) and a validation sample (n = 327, 30%). The mapping algorithms that capture the relationship between the instruments were estimated using ordinary least squares (OLS), Tobit, and two-part models. Five-fold cross-validation (in-sample) was used to compare the predictive performance of the estimated models. Final models were selected based on root mean square error (RMSE).

Results: A total of 565 patients in the estimation sample had complete information on both EPIC and EQ5D questionnaires at baseline. Mean observed EQ5D utility was 0.90±0.13 (range: 0.28-1) with 55% of patients in full health. OLS models outperformed their counterpart Tobit and two-part models for all pre-determined model specifications. The best model fit was: "EQ5D utility = 0.248541 + 0.000748*(Urinary Function) + 0.001134*(Urinary Bother) + 0.000968*(Hormonal Function) + 0.004404*(Hormonal Bother)- 0.376487*(Zubrod) + 0.003562*(Urinary Function*Zubrod)"; RMSE was 0.10462.

Conclusions: This is the first study to identify a comprehensive set of mapping algorithms to generate EQ5D utilities from EPIC domain/ sub-domain scores. The study results will help estimate quality-adjusted life-years in PC economic evaluations.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0249123PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8046237PMC
April 2021

Patient-reported Quality of Life After SBRT, LDR, and HDR Brachytherapy for Prostate Cancer: A Comparison of Outcomes.

Am J Clin Oncol 2021 04;44(4):131-136

Departments of Radiation Oncology.

Purpose: We sought to compare changes in patient-reported quality of life (PRQOL) following stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), high dose rate (HDR), and low dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy for prostate cancer.

Materials And Methods: International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), Sexual Health Inventory For Men (SHIM), and Expanded Prostate cancer Index Composite Short Form (EPIC-26) were prospectively collected for men with low/intermediate-risk cancer treated at a single institution. We used Generalized Estimating Equations to identify associations between variables and early (3 to 6 mo) or late (1 to 2 y) PRQOL scores. Minimally important differences (MID) were compared with assess clinical relevance.

Results: A total of 342 LDR, 159 HDR, and 112 SBRT patients treated from 2001 to 2018 were eligible. Gleason score, PSA, and age were lower among LDR patients compared with HDR/SBRT. Unadjusted baseline IPSS score was similar among all groups. Adjusted IPSS worsened at all time points compared with baseline after LDR/HDR. At early/late time points, rates of IPSS MID after LDR were higher compared to HDR/SBRT. There were no IPSS differences between SBRT and HDR. All modalities showed early and late SHIM worsening. There were no temporal differences in SHIM between SBRT and brachytherapy. There were no differences in EPIC subdomains between HDR and SBRT. Bowel symptoms worsened early after SBRT, whereas urinary irritative/obstructive symptoms worsened late after HDR. Among all domains, MID after SBRT and HDR were similar.

Conclusions: In a cohort of patients treated with modern radiotherapy techniques, HDR and SBRT resulted in clinically meaningful improved urinary PRQOL compared with LDR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/COC.0000000000000796DOI Listing
April 2021

A Pooled Toxicity Analysis of Moderately Hypofractionated Proton Beam Therapy and Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy in Early-Stage Prostate Cancer Patients.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2021 Feb 1. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address:

Purpose: Data comparing moderately hypofractionated intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and proton beam therapy (PBT) are lacking. We aim to compare late toxicity profiles of patients with early-stage prostate cancer treated with moderately hypofractionated PBT and IMRT.

Methods And Materials: This multi-institutional analysis included patients with low- or intermediate-risk biopsy-proven prostate adenocarcinoma from 7 tertiary referral centers treated from 1998 to 2018. All patients were treated with moderately hypofractionated radiation, defined as 250 to 300 cGy per daily fraction given for 4 to 6 weeks, and stratified by use of IMRT or PBT. Primary outcomes were late genitourinary (GU) and gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity. Adjusted toxicity rates were calculated using inverse probability of treatment weighting, accounting for race, National Comprehensive Cancer Network risk group, age, pretreatment International Prostate Symptom Score (GU only), and anticoagulant use (GI only).

Results: A total of 1850 patients were included: 1282 IMRT (median follow-up 80.0 months) and 568 PBT (median follow-up 43.9 months). Overall toxicity rates were low, with the majority of patients experiencing no late GU (56.6%, n = 1048) or late GI (74.4%, n = 1377) toxicity. No difference was seen in the rates of late toxicity between the groups, with late grade 3+ GU toxicity of 2.0% versus 3.9% (odds ratio [OR] 0.47; 95% confidence interval 0.17-1.28) and late grade 2+ GI toxicity of 14.6% versus 4.7% (OR 2.69; confidence interval 0.80-9.05) for the PBT and IMRT cohorts, respectively. On multivariable analysis, no factors were significantly predictive of GU toxicity, and only anticoagulant use was significantly predictive of GI toxicity (OR 1.90; P = .008).

Conclusions: In this large, multi-institutional analysis of 1850 patients with early-stage prostate cancer, treatment with moderately hypofractionated IMRT and PBT resulted in low rates of toxicity. No difference was seen in late GI and GU toxicity between the modalities during long-term follow-up. Both treatments are safe and well tolerated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2021.01.043DOI Listing
February 2021

The Association Between Statin Use and Outcomes in Patients Initiating Androgen Deprivation Therapy.

Eur Urol 2021 Apr 31;79(4):446-452. Epub 2020 Dec 31.

Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Background: Studies have conflicting results regarding the association between statin use and biochemical recurrence for prostate cancer (PCa). A limited number of studies examining statins in advanced stages report positive results, with a few specifically examining statins and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).

Objective: To perform a post hoc secondary analysis of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of men initiating ADT to examine the association between statin use and outcomes.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Patients with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) >3 ng/ml >1 yr following primary/salvage radiotherapy were enrolled in an RCT of intermittent androgen deprivation (IAD) versus continuous ADT (NCT00003653). Baseline and on-study statin use was modelled as a time-dependent covariate.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: The primary endpoint was overall survival. Models were adjusted for age, time from radiotherapy to ADT, baseline PSA, and prior ADT.

Results And Limitations: Of 1364 patients, statin users (585; 43%) were younger (72.7 vs 73.8 yr, p = 0.001) and less likely to have PSA >15 ng/ml (20% vs 25%, p = 0.04). After a median follow-up of 6.9 yr, statin use was associated with reduced overall (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.64; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.53-0.78, p < 0.001) and PCa-specific (HR: 0.65, 95% CI 0.48-0.87, p = 0.004) mortality. Statin users had 13% longer time to castration resistance, but this did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.15). As an exploratory endpoint, in the IAD arm, statin users had longer time off treatment (median: 0.85 vs 0.64 yr, p = 0.06). Limitations include potential for residual confounding between statin users and nonusers, and confounding by indication.

Conclusions: In men treated with ADT following primary or salvage radiotherapy, statin use was associated with improved overall and PCa-specific survival. In patients treated with IAD, statin use was associated with a trend towards longer time off treatment. A prospective trial of statins in men commencing ADT is warranted.

Patient Summary: We found a favourable association between statin use and survival outcomes in patients initiating androgen deprivation therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2020.12.031DOI Listing
April 2021

Development and Validation of a Clinical Prognostic Stage Group System for Nonmetastatic Prostate Cancer Using Disease-Specific Mortality Results From the International Staging Collaboration for Cancer of the Prostate.

JAMA Oncol 2020 12;6(12):1912-1920

Department of Radiation Oncology, Penn State Cancer Institute, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Importance: In 2016, the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) established criteria to evaluate prediction models for staging. No localized prostate cancer models were endorsed by the Precision Medicine Core committee, and 8th edition staging was based on expert consensus.

Objective: To develop and validate a pretreatment clinical prognostic stage group system for nonmetastatic prostate cancer.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This multinational cohort study included 7 centers from the United States, Canada, and Europe, the Shared Equal Access Regional Cancer Hospital (SEARCH) Veterans Affairs Medical Centers collaborative (5 centers), and the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor (CaPSURE) registry (43 centers) (the STAR-CAP cohort). Patients with cT1-4N0-1M0 prostate adenocarcinoma treated from January 1, 1992, to December 31, 2013 (follow-up completed December 31, 2017). The STAR-CAP cohort was randomly divided into training and validation data sets; statisticians were blinded to the validation data until the model was locked. A Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) cohort was used as a second validation set. Analysis was performed from January 1, 2018, to November 30, 2019.

Exposures: Curative intent radical prostatectomy (RP) or radiotherapy with or without androgen deprivation therapy.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM). Based on a competing-risk regression model, a points-based Score staging system was developed. Model discrimination (C index), calibration, and overall performance were assessed in the validation cohorts.

Results: Of 19 684 patients included in the analysis (median age, 64.0 [interquartile range (IQR), 59.0-70.0] years), 12 421 were treated with RP and 7263 with radiotherapy. Median follow-up was 71.8 (IQR, 34.3-124.3) months; 4078 (20.7%) were followed up for at least 10 years. Age, T category, N category, Gleason grade, pretreatment serum prostate-specific antigen level, and the percentage of positive core biopsy results among biopsies performed were included as variables. In the validation set, predicted 10-year PCSM for the 9 Score groups ranged from 0.3% to 40.0%. The 10-year C index (0.796; 95% CI, 0.760-0.828) exceeded that of the AJCC 8th edition (0.757; 95% CI, 0.719-0.792), which was improved across age, race, and treatment modality and within the SEER validation cohort. The Score system performed similarly to individualized random survival forest and interaction models and outperformed National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and Cancer of the Prostate Risk Assessment (CAPRA) risk grouping 3- and 4-tier classification systems (10-year C index for NCCN 3-tier, 0.729; for NCCN 4-tier, 0.746; for Score, 0.794) as well as CAPRA (10-year C index for CAPRA, 0.760; for Score, 0.782).

Conclusions And Relevance: Using a large, diverse international cohort treated with standard curative treatment options, a proposed AJCC-compliant clinical prognostic stage group system for prostate cancer has been developed. This system may allow consistency of reporting and interpretation of results and clinical trial design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.4922DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7582232PMC
December 2020

Pelvic Reirradiation Utilizing Pulsed Low-dose Rate Radiation Therapy.

Am J Clin Oncol 2020 10;43(10):748-751

Departments of Radiation Oncology.

Pulsed low-dose rate radiation therapy has been shown to reduce normal tissue damage while decreasing DNA damage repair in tumor cells. In a cohort of patients treated with palliative or definitive pelvic reirradiation using pulsed low-dose rate radiation therapy, we observed substantial local control and low rates of toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/COC.0000000000000741DOI Listing
October 2020

Less Is More: Treatment of Locally Advanced Small Cell Prostate Cancer.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2020 08;107(5):865-866

Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.01.049DOI Listing
August 2020

Prostate-specific antigen kinetics and biochemical control following stereotactic body radiation therapy, high dose rate brachytherapy, and low dose rate brachytherapy: A multi-institutional analysis of 3502 patients.

Radiother Oncol 2020 10 11;151:26-32. Epub 2020 Jul 11.

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, United States.

Background And Purpose: Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), low dose rate brachytherapy (LDR-BT) and high dose rate brachytherapy (HDR-BT) are ablative-intent radiotherapy options for prostate cancer (PCa). These vary considerably in dose delivery, which may impact post-treatment prostate-specific antigen (PSA) patterns and biochemical control. We compared PSA kinetics between SBRT, HDR-BT, and LDR-BT, and assessed their relationships to biochemical recurrence-free survival (BCRFS).

Methods And Materials: Retrospective PSA data were analyzed for 3502 men with low-risk (n = 2223; 63.5%), favorable intermediate-risk (n = 869; 24.8%), and unfavorable intermediate-risk (n = 410; 11.7%) PCa treated with SBRT (n = 1716; 49.0%), HDR-BT (n = 512; 14.6%), or LDR-BT (n = 1274; 36.4%) without upfront androgen deprivation therapy at 10 institutions from 1990 to 2017. We compared nadir PSA (nPSA), time to nPSA, achievement of nPSA <0.2 ng/mL and <0.5 ng/mL, rates of nPSA <0.4 ng/mL at 4 years, and BCRFS.

Results: Median follow-up was 72 months. Median nPSA and nPSA <0.2 ng/mL were stratified by risk group (interaction p ≤ 0.001). Median nPSA and time to nPSA were 0.2 ng/mL at 44 months after SBRT, 0.1-0.2 ng/mL at 37 months after HDR-BT, and 0.01-0.2 ng/mL at 51 months after LDR-BT (mean log nPSA p ≤ 0.009 for LDR-BT vs. SBRT or HDR-BT for low/favorable intermediate-risk). There were no differences in nPSA <0.4 ng/mL at 4 years (p ≥ 0.51). BCRFS was similar for all three modalities (p ≥ 0.27). Continued PSA decay beyond 4 years was predictive of durable biochemical control.

Conclusion: LDR-BT led to lower nPSAs with longer continued decay compared to SBRT and HDR-BT, but no differences in BCRFS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2020.07.014DOI Listing
October 2020

A War on Two Fronts: Cancer Care in the Time of COVID-19.

Ann Intern Med 2020 06 27;172(11):756-758. Epub 2020 Mar 27.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (A.K., D.S.W., M.J.E., E.M.H., R.G.U., R.I.F.).

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http://dx.doi.org/10.7326/M20-1133DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7133056PMC
June 2020

Ten-Year Update of a Randomized, Prospective Trial of Conventional Fractionated Versus Moderate Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy for Localized Prostate Cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2020 05 2;38(15):1676-1684. Epub 2020 Mar 2.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA.

Purpose: The previously published single institution randomized prospective trial failed to show superiority in the 5-year biochemical and/or clinical disease failure (BCDF) rate with moderate hypofractionated intensity-modulated radiation therapy (H-IMRT) versus conventionally fractionated IMRT (C-IMRT). We now present 10-year disease outcomes using updated risk groups and definitions of biochemical failure.

Methods: Men with protocol-defined intermediate- and high-risk prostate adenocarcinoma were randomly assigned to receive C-IMRT (76 Gy in 38 fractions) or H-IMRT (70.2 Gy in 26 fractions). Men with high-risk disease were all prescribed 24 months of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and had lymph node irradiation. Men with intermediate risk were prescribed 4 months of ADT at the discretion of the treating physician. The primary endpoint was cumulative incidence of BCDF. We compared disease outcomes and overall mortality by treatment arm, with sensitivity analyses for National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) risk group adjustment.

Results: Overall, 303 assessable men were randomly assigned to C-IMRT or H-IMRT. The median follow-up was 122.9 months. Per updated NCCN risk classification, there were 28 patients (9.2%) with low-risk, 189 (62.4%) with intermediate-risk, and 86 (28.4%) with high-risk prostate cancer. The arms were equally balanced for clinicopathologic factors, except that there were more black patients in the C-IMRT arm (17.8% 7.3%; = .02). There was no difference in ADT use ( = .56). The 10-year cumulative incidence of BCDF was 25.9% in the C-IMRT arm and was 30.6% in the H-IMRT arm (hazard ratio, 1.31; 95% CI, 0.82 to 2.11). The two arms also had similar cumulative 10-year rates of biochemical failure, prostate cancer-specific mortality, and overall mortality; however, the 10-year cumulative incidence of distant metastases was higher in the H-IMRT arm (rate difference, 7.8%; 95% CI, 0.7% to 15.1%).

Conclusion: H-IMRT failed to demonstrate superiority compared with C-IMRT in long-term disease outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.01485DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7238488PMC
May 2020

Treatment Facility Volume and Survival in Patients with Advanced Prostate Cancer.

Eur Urol Oncol 2020 02 18;3(1):104-111. Epub 2019 Jul 18.

Department of Hematology/Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Background: Despite improvements in medical management of advanced prostate cancer (aPC), it continues to be a leading cause of cancer death in men. Contemporary management of men with aPC is complex and requires resources to be more readily available at high-volume facilities.

Objective: To determine the relationship between facility volume and survival in men with aPC.

Design, Setting, And Participants: The National Cancer Database (NCDB) was queried from 2004 to 2013 for aPC, defined as T4, N+, or M+ disease, identifying 64815 patients. Six predefined patient cohorts were evaluated. Cohort "A" included all patients with aPC. "B" cohorts included only M0 patients. "C" cohorts included only M1 patients. Facilities were divided into quartiles based on median treatment volume (patients/yr).

Intervention: Diagnosis and management of aPC at an NCDB-reporting facility.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Overall survival (OS) was assessed as a function of facility volume. Multivariable Cox regression models were fitted. Cox regressions using natural cubic splines were used to test for nonlinear relationships between volume and OS.

Results And Limitations: OS improved as facility volume increased (top quartile vs bottom quartile, hazard ratio 0.82, 95% confidence interval 0.77-0.88, p<0.001) and was consistent across patient cohorts. Spline models demonstrate a continuous decrease in hazard of death as volume increases. Limitations include the retrospective analysis and a lack of precise treatment information.

Conclusions: In this retrospective analysis of nearly 65000 men who presented with aPC, we demonstrate an association between higher facility volume and improvements in OS. This OS advantage persisted with similar magnitudes of effect after narrowing the cohorts by disease and treatment characteristics.

Patient Summary: In this retrospective review of the National Cancer Database, we analyzed the association between treatment facility volume and survival in men who are diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. We found that survival improved as volume increased, indicating a possible imbalance of resources and expertise that favors higher-volume facilities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2019.06.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7649050PMC
February 2020

Prostate-only Versus Whole-pelvis Radiation with or Without a Brachytherapy Boost for Gleason Grade Group 5 Prostate Cancer: A Retrospective Analysis.

Eur Urol 2020 01 13;77(1):3-10. Epub 2019 Apr 13.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Veteran Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Background: The role of elective whole-pelvis radiotherapy (WPRT) remains controversial. Few studies have investigated it in Gleason grade group (GG) 5 prostate cancer (PCa), known to have a high risk of nodal metastases.

Objective: To assess the impact of WPRT on patients with GG 5 PCa treated with external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT) or EBRT with a brachytherapy boost (EBRT+BT).

Design, Setting, And Participants: We identified 1170 patients with biopsy-proven GG 5 PCa from 11 centers in the United States and one in Norway treated between 2000 and 2013 (734 with EBRT and 436 with EBRT+BT).

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Biochemical recurrence-free survival (bRFS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), and prostate cancer-specific survival (PCSS) were compared using Cox proportional hazards models with propensity score adjustment.

Results And Limitations: A total of 299 EBRT patients (41%) and 320 EBRT+BT patients (73%) received WPRT. The adjusted 5-yr bRFS rates with WPRT in the EBRT and EBRT+BT groups were 66% and 88%, respectively. Without WPRT, these rates for the EBRT and EBRT+BT groups were 58% and 78%, respectively. The median follow-up was 5.6yr. WPRT was associated with improved bRFS among patients treated with EBRT+BT (hazard ratio [HR] 0.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.2-0.9, p=0.02), but no evidence for improvement was found in those treated with EBRT (HR 0.8, 95% CI 0.6-1.2, p=0.4). WPRT was not significantly associated with improved DMFS or PCSS in the EBRT group (HR 1.1, 95% CI 0.7-1.7, p=0.8 for DMFS and HR 0.7, 95% CI 0.4-1.1, p=0.1 for PCSS), or in the EBRT+BT group (HR 0.6, 95% CI 0.3-1.4, p=0.2 for DMFS and HR 0.5 95% CI 0.2-1.2, p=0.1 for PCSS).

Conclusions: WPRT was not associated with improved PCSS or DMFS in patients with GG 5 PCa who received either EBRT or EBRT+BT. However, WPRT was associated with a significant improvement in bRFS among patients receiving EBRT+BT. Strategies to optimize WPRT, potentially with the use of advanced imaging techniques to identify occult nodal disease, are warranted.

Patient Summary: When men with a high Gleason grade prostate cancer receive radiation with external radiation and brachytherapy, the addition of radiation to the pelvis results in a longer duration of prostate-specific antigen control. However, we did not find a difference in their survival from prostate cancer or in their survival without metastatic disease. We also did not find a benefit for radiation to the pelvis in men who received radiation without brachytherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2019.03.022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7521828PMC
January 2020

Prostate-Specific Antigen After Neoadjuvant Androgen Suppression in Prostate Cancer Patients Receiving Short-Term Androgen Suppression and External Beam Radiation Therapy: Pooled Analysis of Four NRG Oncology Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Randomized Clinical Trials.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2019 08 6;104(5):1057-1065. Epub 2019 Apr 6.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.

Purpose: To validate whether prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level after neoadjuvant androgen suppression (neoAS) is associated with long-term outcome after neoAS and external beam radiation therapy (RT) with concurrent short-term androgen suppression (AS) in patients with prostate cancer.

Methods And Materials: This study included 2404 patients. The patients were treated with neoAS before RT and concurrent AS (without post-RT AS) and were pooled from NRG Oncology/RTOG trials 9202, 9408, 9413, and 9910. Multivariable models were used to test associations between the prespecified dichotomized post-neoAS, pre-RT PSA level (≤0.1 vs >0.1 ng/mL) groupings, and clinical outcomes.

Results: The median follow-up for surviving patients was 9.4 years. The median post-neoAS, pre-RT PSA level was 0.3 ng/mL, with 32% of patients having levels ≤0.1 ng/mL. Race, Gleason score, tumor stage, node stage, pretreatment PSA level, and duration of neoAS were associated with the groups of patients with PSA levels ≤0.1 and >0.1 ng/mL. In univariate analyses, post-neoAS, pre-RT PSA level >0.1 ng/mL was associated with increased risks of biochemical failure (hazard ratio [HR], 2.04; P < .0001); local failure (HR, 2.51; P < .0001); distant metastases (HR, 1.73; P = .0006); cause-specific mortality (HR, 2.36; P < .0001); and all-cause mortality (HR, 1.24; P = .005). In multivariable models that also included baseline and treatment variables, post-neoAS, pre-RT PSA level >0.1 ng/mL was independently associated with increased risk of biochemical failure (HR, 2.00; P < .0001); local failure (HR, 2.33; P < .0001); and cause-specific mortality (HR, 1.75; P = .03).

Conclusions: Patients with a PSA level >0.1 ng/mL after neoAS and before the start of RT had less favorable clinical outcomes than patients whose PSA level was ≤0.1 ng/mL. The role of post-neoAS, pre-RT PSA level relative to PSA levels obtained along the continuum of medical care is not presently defined but could be tested in future clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2019.03.049DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6646073PMC
August 2019

Effect of Chemotherapy With Docetaxel With Androgen Suppression and Radiotherapy for Localized High-Risk Prostate Cancer: The Randomized Phase III NRG Oncology RTOG 0521 Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2019 05 12;37(14):1159-1168. Epub 2019 Mar 12.

6 Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA.

Purpose: Radiotherapy (RT) plus long-term androgen suppression (AS) are a standard treatment option for patients with high-risk localized prostate cancer. We hypothesized that docetaxel chemotherapy (CT) could improve overall survival (OS) and clinical outcomes among patients with high-risk prostate cancer.

Patients And Methods: The multicenter randomized NRG Oncology RTOG 0521 study enrolled patients with high-risk nonmetastatic disease between 2005 and 2009. Patients were randomly assigned to receive standard long-term AS plus RT with or without adjuvant CT.

Results: A total of 612 patients were enrolled; 563 were evaluable. Median prostate-specific antigen was 15.1 ng/mL; 53% had a Gleason score 9 to 10 cancer; 27% had cT3 to cT4 disease. Median follow-up was 5.7 years. Treatment was well tolerated in both arms. Four-year OS rate was 89% (95% CI, 84% to 92%) for AS + RT and 93% (95% CI, 90% to 96%) for AS + RT + CT (hazard ratio [HR], 0.69; 90% CI, 0.49 to 0.97; one-sided = .034). There were 59 deaths in the AS + RT arm and 43 in the AS + RT + CT arm, with fewer deaths resulting from prostate cancer in the AS + RT + CT arm versus AS + RT (23 16 deaths, respectively). Six-year rate of distant metastasis was 14% for AS + RT and 9.1% for AS + RT + CT, (HR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.37 to 0.99; two-sided = .044). Six-year disease-free survival rate was 55% for AS + RT and 65% for AS + RT + CT (HR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.58 to 0.99; two-sided = .043).

Conclusion: For patients with high-risk nonmetastatic prostate cancer, CT with docetaxel improved OS from 89% to 93% at 4 years, with improved disease-free survival and reduction in the rate of distant metastasis. The trial suggests that docetaxel CT may be an option to be discussed with selected men with high-risk prostate cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.18.02158DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6506419PMC
May 2019

Time Interval to Biochemical Failure as a Surrogate End Point in Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer: Analysis of Randomized Trial NRG/RTOG 9202.

J Clin Oncol 2019 01 7;37(3):213-221. Epub 2018 Dec 7.

12 Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA.

Background: In prostate cancer, end points that reliably portend prognosis and treatment benefit (surrogate end points) can accelerate therapy development. Although surrogate end point candidates have been evaluated in the context of radiotherapy and short-term androgen deprivation (AD), potential surrogates under long-term (24 month) AD, a proven therapy in high-risk localized disease, have not been investigated.

Materials And Methods: In the NRG/RTOG 9202 randomized trial (N = 1,520) of short-term AD (4 months) versus long-term AD (LTAD; 28 months), the time interval free of biochemical failure (IBF) was evaluated in relation to clinical end points of prostate cancer-specific survival (PCSS) and overall survival (OS). Survival modeling and landmark analysis methods were applied to evaluate LTAD benefit on IBF and clinical end points, association between IBF and clinical end points, and the mediating effect of IBF on LTAD clinical end point benefits.

Results: LTAD was superior to short-term AD for both biochemical failure (BF) and the clinical end points. Men remaining free of BF for 3 years had relative risk reductions of 39% for OS and 73% for PCSS. Accounting for 3-year IBF status reduced the LTAD OS benefit from 12% (hazard ratio [HR], 0.88; 95% CI, 0.79 to 0.98) to 6% (HR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.07). For PCSS, the LTAD benefit was reduced from 30% (HR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.52 to 0.82) to 6% (HR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.72 to 1.22). Among men with BF, by 3 years, 50% of subsequent deaths were attributed to prostate cancer, compared with 19% among men free of BF through 3 years.

Conclusion: The IBF satisfied surrogacy criteria and identified the benefit of LTAD on disease-specific survival and OS. The IBF may serve as a valid end point in clinical trials and may also aid in risk monitoring after initial treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.18.00154DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6338393PMC
January 2019

Sequence of hormonal therapy and radiotherapy field size in unfavourable, localised prostate cancer (NRG/RTOG 9413): long-term results of a randomised, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2018 11 10;19(11):1504-1515. Epub 2018 Oct 10.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Background: The NRG/RTOG 9413 study showed that whole pelvic radiotherapy (WPRT) plus neoadjuvant hormonal therapy (NHT) improved progression-free survival in patients with intermediate-risk or high-risk localised prostate cancer compared with prostate only radiotherapy (PORT) plus NHT, WPRT plus adjuvant hormonal therapy (AHT), and PORT plus AHT. We provide a long-term update after 10 years of follow-up of the primary endpoint (progression-free survival) and report on the late toxicities of treatment.

Methods: The trial was designed as a 2 × 2 factorial study with hormonal sequencing as one stratification factor and radiation field as the other factor and tested whether NHT improved progression-free survival versus AHT, and NHT plus WPRT versus NHT plus PORT. Eligible patients had histologically confirmed, clinically localised adenocarcinoma of the prostate, an estimated risk of lymph node involvement of more than 15% and a Karnofsky performance status of more than 70, with no age limitations. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1:1:1) by permuted block randomisation to receive either NHT 2 months before and during WPRT followed by a prostate boost to 70 Gy (NHT plus WPRT group), NHT 2 months before and during PORT to 70 Gy (NHT plus PORT group), WPRT followed by 4 months of AHT (WPRT plus AHT group), or PORT followed by 4 months of AHT (PORT plus AHT group). Hormonal therapy was combined androgen suppression, consisting of goserelin acetate 3·6 mg once a month subcutaneously or leuprolide acetate 7·5 mg once a month intramuscularly, and flutamide 250 mg twice a day orally for 4 months. Randomisation was stratified by T stage, Gleason Score, and prostate-specific antigen concentration. NHT was given 2 months before radiotherapy and was continued until radiotherapy completion; AHT was given at the completion of radiotherapy for 4 months. The primary endpoint progression-free survival was analysed by intention to treat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00769548. The trial has been terminated to additional follow-up collection and this is the final analysis for this trial.

Findings: Between April 1, 1995, and June 1, 1999, 1322 patients were enrolled from 53 centres and randomly assigned to the four treatment groups. With a median follow-up of 8·8 years (IQR 5·07-13·84) for all patients and 14·8 years (7·18-17·4) for living patients (n=346), progression-free survival across all timepoints continued to differ significantly across the four treatment groups (p=0·002). The 10-year estimates of progression-free survival were 28·4% (95% CI 23·3-33·6) in the NHT plus WPRT group, 23·5% (18·7-28·3) in the NHT plus PORT group, 19·4% (14·9-24·0) in the WPRT plus AHT group, and 30·2% (25·0-35·4) in the PORT plus AHT group. Bladder toxicity was the most common grade 3 or worse late toxicity, affecting 18 (6%) of 316 patients in the NHT plus WPRT group, 17 (5%) of 313 in the NHT plus PORT group, 22 (7%) of 317 in the WPRT plus AHT group, and 14 (4%) of 315 in the PORT plus AHT group. Late grade 3 or worse gastrointestinal adverse events occurred in 22 (7%) of 316 patients in the NHT plus WPRT group, five (2%) of 313 in the NHT plus PORT group, ten (3%) of 317 in the WPRT plus AHT group, and seven (2%) of 315 in the PORT plus AHT group.

Interpretation: In this cohort of patients with intermediate-risk and high-risk localised prostate cancer, NHT plus WPRT improved progression-free survival compared with NHT plus PORT and WPRT plus AHT at long-term follow-up albeit increased risk of grade 3 or worse intestinal toxicity. Interactions between radiotherapy and hormonal therapy suggests that WPRT should be avoided without NHT.

Funding: National Cancer Institute.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(18)30528-XDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6540797PMC
November 2018

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.

Adv Radiat Oncol 2018 Jul-Sep;3(3):405-411. Epub 2018 Jun 7.

Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

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 (<1%). The multivariate analysis showed that patients who received prostate-only RT+HT had a lower risk of experiencing grade ≥2 bowel toxicities than those who received whole-pelvic RT+long-term (LT) HT (hazard ratio: 0.36; 95% confidence interval, 0.18-0.73;  = .0046 and hazard ratio: 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.23-0.80;  = .008, respectively). Patients who received whole-pelvic RT had similar chances of having grade ≥2 bowel or bladder toxicities no matter whether they received LT or short-term HT.

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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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.adro.2018.04.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6128023PMC
June 2018

Clinical Outcomes for Patients With Gleason Score 10 Prostate Adenocarcinoma: Results From a Multi-institutional Consortium Study.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2018 07 5;101(4):883-888. Epub 2018 Apr 5.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Veteran Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, California.

Purpose: Gleason score (GS) 10 disease is the most aggressive form of clinically localized prostate adenocarcinoma (PCa). The long-term clinical outcomes and overall prognosis of patients presenting with GS 10 PCa are largely unknown because of its rarity.

Methods And Materials: The study included 112 patients with biopsy-determined GS 10 PCa who received treatment with radical prostatectomy (RP, n = 26), external beam radiation therapy (EBRT, n = 48), or EBRT with a brachytherapy boost (EBRT-BT, n = 38) between 2000 and 2013. Propensity scores were included as covariates for comparative analysis. Overall survival, prostate cancer-specific survival, and distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method with inverse probability of treatment weighting to control for confounding.

Results: The median follow-up period was 4.9 years overall (3.9 years for RP, 4.8 years for EBRT, and 5.7 years for EBRT-BT). Significantly more EBRT patients than EBRT-BT patients received upfront androgen deprivation therapy (98% vs 79%, P < .01 by χ test), though the durations were similar (median, 24 months vs 22.5 months). Of the RP patients, 34% received postoperative EBRT, and 35% received neoadjuvant systemic therapy. The propensity score-adjusted 5-year overall survival rate was 80% for the RP group, 73% for the EBRT group, and 83% for the EBRT-BT group. The corresponding adjusted 5-year prostate cancer-specific survival rates were 87%, 75%, and 94%, respectively. The EBRT-BT group trended toward superior DMFS when compared with the RP group (hazard ratio, 0.3; 95% confidence interval 0.1-1.06; P = .06) and had superior DMFS when compared with the EBRT group (hazard ratio, 0.4; 95% confidence interval 0.1-0.99; P = .048).

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the largest series ever reported on the clinical outcomes of patients with biopsy-determined GS 10 PCa. These data provide useful prognostic benchmark information for physicians and patients. Aggressive therapy with curative intent is warranted, as >50% of patients remain free of systemic disease 5 years after treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2018.03.060DOI Listing
July 2018

Patient Reported Outcomes in NRG Oncology RTOG 0938, Evaluating Two Ultrahypofractionated Regimens for Prostate Cancer.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2018 10 18;102(2):287-295. Epub 2018 Jun 18.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee.

Purpose: There is considerable interest in very short (ultrahypofractionated) radiation therapy regimens to treat prostate cancer based on potential radiobiological advantages, patient convenience, and resource allocation benefits. Our objective is to demonstrate that detectable changes in health-related quality of life measured by the bowel and urinary domains of the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC-50) were not substantially worse than baseline scores.

Methods And Materials: NRG Oncology's RTOG 0938 is a nonblinded randomized phase 2 study of National Comprehensive Cancer Network low-risk prostate cancer in which each arm is compared with a historical control. Patients were randomized to 5 fractions (7.25 Gy in 2 weeks) or 12 fractions (4.3 Gy in 2.5 weeks). The co-primary endpoints were the proportion of patients with a change in EPIC-50 bowel score at 1 year (baseline to 1 year) >5 points and in EPIC-50 urinary score >2 points tested with a 1-sample binomial test.

Results: The study enrolled 127 patients to 5 fractions (121 analyzed) and 128 patients to 12 fractions (125 analyzed). Median follow-up for all patients at the time of analysis was 3.8 years. The 1-year frequency for >5 point change in bowel score were 29.8% (P < .001) and 28.4% (P < .001) for 5 and 12 fractions, respectively. The 1-year frequencies for >2 point change in urinary score were 45.7% (P < .001) and 42.2% (P < .001) for 5 and 12 fractions, respectively. For 5 fractions, 32.9% of patients had a drop in 1-year EPIC-50 sexual score of ≥11 points (P = .34); for 12 fractions, 30.9% of patients had a drop in 1-year EPIC-50 sexual score of ≥ 11 points (P = .20). Disease-free survival at 2 years is 99.2% (95% confidence interval: 97.5-100) in the 5-fraction arm and 97.5% (95% confidence interval: 94.6-100) in the 12-fraction arm. There was no late grade 4 or 5 treatment-related urinary or bowel toxicity.

Conclusions: This study confirms that, based on changes in bowel and urinary domains and toxicity (acute and late), the 5- and 12-fraction regimens are well tolerated. These ultrahypofractionated approaches need to be compared with current standard radiation therapy regimens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2018.06.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6248906PMC
October 2018

Radical Prostatectomy, External Beam Radiotherapy, or External Beam Radiotherapy With Brachytherapy Boost and Disease Progression and Mortality in Patients With Gleason Score 9-10 Prostate Cancer.

JAMA 2018 03;319(9):896-905

Department of Urology, University of California, Los Angeles.

Importance: The optimal treatment for Gleason score 9-10 prostate cancer is unknown.

Objective: To compare clinical outcomes of patients with Gleason score 9-10 prostate cancer after definitive treatment.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Retrospective cohort study in 12 tertiary centers (11 in the United States, 1 in Norway), with 1809 patients treated between 2000 and 2013.

Exposures: Radical prostatectomy (RP), external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) with androgen deprivation therapy, or EBRT plus brachytherapy boost (EBRT+BT) with androgen deprivation therapy.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary outcome was prostate cancer-specific mortality; distant metastasis-free survival and overall survival were secondary outcomes.

Results: Of 1809 men, 639 underwent RP, 734 EBRT, and 436 EBRT+BT. Median ages were 61, 67.7, and 67.5 years; median follow-up was 4.2, 5.1, and 6.3 years, respectively. By 10 years, 91 RP, 186 EBRT, and 90 EBRT+BT patients had died. Adjusted 5-year prostate cancer-specific mortality rates were RP, 12% (95% CI, 8%-17%); EBRT, 13% (95% CI, 8%-19%); and EBRT+BT, 3% (95% CI, 1%-5%). EBRT+BT was associated with significantly lower prostate cancer-specific mortality than either RP or EBRT (cause-specific HRs of 0.38 [95% CI, 0.21-0.68] and 0.41 [95% CI, 0.24-0.71]). Adjusted 5-year incidence rates of distant metastasis were RP, 24% (95% CI, 19%-30%); EBRT, 24% (95% CI, 20%-28%); and EBRT+BT, 8% (95% CI, 5%-11%). EBRT+BT was associated with a significantly lower rate of distant metastasis (propensity-score-adjusted cause-specific HRs of 0.27 [95% CI, 0.17-0.43] for RP and 0.30 [95% CI, 0.19-0.47] for EBRT). Adjusted 7.5-year all-cause mortality rates were RP, 17% (95% CI, 11%-23%); EBRT, 18% (95% CI, 14%-24%); and EBRT+BT, 10% (95% CI, 7%-13%). Within the first 7.5 years of follow-up, EBRT+BT was associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality (cause-specific HRs of 0.66 [95% CI, 0.46-0.96] for RP and 0.61 [95% CI, 0.45-0.84] for EBRT). After the first 7.5 years, the corresponding HRs were 1.16 (95% CI, 0.70-1.92) and 0.87 (95% CI, 0.57-1.32). No significant differences in prostate cancer-specific mortality, distant metastasis, or all-cause mortality (≤7.5 and >7.5 years) were found between men treated with EBRT or RP (cause-specific HRs of 0.92 [95% CI, 0.67-1.26], 0.90 [95% CI, 0.70-1.14], 1.07 [95% CI, 0.80-1.44], and 1.34 [95% CI, 0.85-2.11]).

Conclusions And Relevance: Among patients with Gleason score 9-10 prostate cancer, treatment with EBRT+BT with androgen deprivation therapy was associated with significantly better prostate cancer-specific mortality and longer time to distant metastasis compared with EBRT with androgen deprivation therapy or with RP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2018.0587DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5885899PMC
March 2018

A multi-institutional phase 2 trial of prostate stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) using continuous real-time evaluation of prostate motion with patient-reported quality of life.

Pract Radiat Oncol 2018 Jan - Feb;8(1):40-47. Epub 2017 Aug 16.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Beaumont Health, Royal Oak, Michigan. Electronic address:

Purpose: The use of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for prostate cancer has been reported predominantly from single institutional studies, although concerns for broader adoption exist.

Methods And Materials: From 2011 through 2013, 66 men were accrued to a phase 2 trial at 5 centers. SBRT consisted of 5 fractions of 7.4 Gy to a total dose of 37 Gy using conventional linear accelerators. Electromagnetic transponders were used for motion management. Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) was evaluated via the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite 26 questionnaire. Acute and late toxicities were collected according to Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4.0. Linear mixed modeling was performed to assess changes in HRQOL over time.

Results: Median follow-up was 36 months. All men had low- or intermediate-risk disease. There have been 0 biochemical recurrences. No grade 3 urinary or bowel toxicity was reported. Twenty-three percent of patients had acute grade 2 urinary toxicity, with 9% late grade 2 urinary toxicity. Four percent and 5% experienced acute or late grade 2+ bowel toxicity, respectively. Urinary bother and bowel HRQOL transiently decreased during the first 6 to 12 months post-SBRT, and then returned to baseline. In men with good erectile function at baseline, sexual HRQOL declined during the first 6 months and stabilized thereafter. On linear mixed modeling, the strongest predictor of sustained bowel and sexual HRQOL was baseline HRQOL.

Conclusions: In this multi-institutional phase 2 clinical trial using continuous real-time evaluation of prostate motion, prostate SBRT has excellent intermediate-term tumor control with mild and expected treatment-related side effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prro.2017.08.004DOI Listing
August 2018

Effects of interruptions of external beam radiation therapy on outcomes in patients with prostate cancer.

J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol 2018 Feb 13;62(1):116-121. Epub 2017 Oct 13.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Introduction: To evaluate if interruptions of external beam radiation therapy impact outcomes in men with localized prostate cancer (PCa).

Methods: We included men with localized PCa treated with three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) or intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) of escalated dose (≥74 Gy in 1.8 or 2 Gy fractions) between 1992 and 2013 at an NCI-designated cancer centre. Men receiving androgen deprivation therapy were excluded. The non-treatment day ratio (NTDR) was defined as the number of non-treatment days divided by the total elapsed days of therapy. NTDR was analysed for each National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) risk group.

Results: There were 1728 men included (839 low-risk, 776 intermediate-risk and 113 high-risk), with a median follow up of 53.5 months (range 12-185.8). The median NTDR was 31% (range 23-71%), translating to approximately 2 breaks (each break represents a missed treatment that will be made up) for 8 weeks of RT with 5 treatments per week. The 75 percentile of NTDR was 33%, translating to approximately 4 breaks, which was used as the cutoff for analysis. There were no significant differences in freedom from biochemical failure, freedom from distant metastasis, cancer specific survival, or overall survival for men with NTDR ≥33% compared to NTDR<33% for each risk group. Multivariable analyses including NTDR, age, race, Gleason score, T stage, and PSA were performed using the proportional hazards regression procedure. NTDR≥33% was not significantly associated with increased hazard ratio for outcomes in each risk group compared to NTDR<33%.

Conclusion: Unintentional treatment breaks during dose escalated external beam radiation therapy for PCa did not cause a significant difference in outcomes, although duration of follow up limits the strength of this conclusion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1754-9485.12675DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5800942PMC
February 2018

Contemporary use trends and survival outcomes in patients undergoing radical cystectomy or bladder-preservation therapy for muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

Cancer 2017 Nov 25;123(22):4337-4345. Epub 2017 Jul 25.

Division of Urologic Oncology, Department of Surgical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background: The current study was performed to examine temporal trends and compare overall survival (OS) in patients undergoing radical cystectomy (RC) or bladder-preservation therapy (BPT) for muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma of the bladder.

Methods: The authors reviewed the National Cancer Data Base to identify patients with AJCC stage II to III urothelial carcinoma of the bladder from 2004 through 2013. Patients receiving BPT were stratified as having received any external-beam radiotherapy (any XRT), definitive XRT (50-80 grays), and definitive XRT with chemotherapy (CRT). Treatment trends and OS outcomes for the BPT and RC cohorts were evaluated using Cochran-Armitage tests, unadjusted Kaplan-Meier curves, adjusted Cox multivariate regression, and propensity score matching, using increasingly stringent selection criteria.

Results: A total of 32,300 patients met the inclusion criteria and were treated with RC (22,680 patients) or BPT (9620 patients). Of the patients treated with BPT, 26.4% (2540 patients) and 15.5% (1489 patients), respectively, were treated with definitive XRT and CRT. Improved OS was observed for RC in all groups. After adjustments with more rigorous statistical models controlling for confounders and with more restrictive BPT cohorts, the magnitude of the OS benefit became attenuated on multivariate (any XRT: hazard ratio [HR], 2.115 [95% confidence interval [95% CI], 2.045-2.188]; definitive XRT: HR, 1.870 [95% CI, 1.773-1.972]; and CRT: HR, 1.578 [95% CI, 1.474-1.691]) and propensity score (any XRT: HR, 2.008 [95% CI, 1.871-2.154]; definitive XRT: HR, 1.606 [95% CI, 1.453-1.776]; and CRT: HR, 1.406 [95% CI, 1.235-1.601]) analyses.

Conclusions: In the National Cancer Data Base, receipt of BPT was associated with decreased OS compared with RC in patients with stage II to III urothelial carcinoma. Increasingly stringent definitions of BPT and more rigorous statistical methods adjusting for selection biases attenuated observed survival differences. Cancer 2017;123:4337-45. © 2017 American Cancer Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.30900DOI Listing
November 2017

The evolution of brachytherapy for prostate cancer.

Nat Rev Urol 2017 Jun;14(7):415-439

Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19111-2497, USA.

Brachytherapy (BT), using low-dose-rate (LDR) permanent seed implantation or high-dose-rate (HDR) temporary source implantation, is an acceptable treatment option for select patients with prostate cancer of any risk group. The benefits of HDR-BT over LDR-BT include the ability to use the same source for other cancers, lower operator dependence, and - typically - fewer acute irritative symptoms. By contrast, the benefits of LDR-BT include more favourable scheduling logistics, lower initial capital equipment costs, no need for a shielded room, completion in a single implant, and more robust data from clinical trials. Prospective reports comparing HDR-BT and LDR-BT to each other or to other treatment options (such as external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) or surgery) suggest similar outcomes. The 5-year freedom from biochemical failure rates for patients with low-risk, intermediate-risk, and high-risk disease are >85%, 69-97%, and 63-80%, respectively. Brachytherapy with EBRT (versus brachytherapy alone) is an appropriate approach in select patients with intermediate-risk and high-risk disease. The 10-year rates of overall survival, distant metastasis, and cancer-specific mortality are >85%, <10%, and <5%, respectively. Grade 3-4 toxicities associated with HDR-BT and LDR-BT are rare, at <4% in most series, and quality of life is improved in patients who receive brachytherapy compared with those who undergo surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrurol.2017.76DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7542347PMC
June 2017

Optimal Use of Combined Modality Therapy in the Treatment of Esophageal Cancer.

Surg Oncol Clin N Am 2017 07 11;26(3):405-429. Epub 2017 May 11.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA. Electronic address:

Esophageal cancer is associated with a poor prognosis with 5-year survival rates of approximately 15% to 20%. Although patients with early stage disease may adequately be treated with a single modality, combined therapy typically consisting of neoadjuvant chemoradiation followed by esophagectomy is being adopted increasingly in patients with locally advanced disease. In patients who are not surgical candidates, definitive chemoradiation is the preferred treatment approach. All patients with newly diagnosed esophageal cancer should be evaluated in the multidisciplinary setting by a surgeon, radiation oncologist, and medical oncologist owing to the importance of each specialty in the management of these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soc.2017.01.009DOI Listing
July 2017

Duration of Androgen Deprivation in Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer: Long-Term Update of NRG Oncology RTOG 9202.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2017 06 12;98(2):296-303. Epub 2017 Feb 12.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.

Purpose: Trial RTOG 9202 was a phase 3 randomized trial designed to determine the optimal duration of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) when combined with definitive radiation therapy (RT) in the treatment of locally advanced nonmetastatic adenocarcinoma of the prostate. Long-term follow-up results of this study now available are relevant to the management of this disease.

Methods And Materials: Men (N=1554) with adenocarcinoma of the prostate (cT2c-T4, N0-Nx) with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) <150 ng/mL and no evidence of distant metastasis were randomized (June 1992 to April 1995) to short-term ADT (STAD: 4 months of flutamide 250 mg 3 times per day and goserelin 3.6 mg per month) and definitive RT versus long-term ADT (LTAD: STAD with definitive RT plus an additional 24 months of monthly goserelin).

Results: Among 1520 protocol-eligible and evaluable patients, the median follow-up time for this analysis was 19.6 years. In analysis adjusted for prognostic covariates, LTAD improved disease-free survival (29% relative reduction in failure rate, P<.0001), local progression (46% relative reduction, P=.02), distant metastases (36% relative reduction, P<.0001), disease-specific survival (30% relative reduction, P=.003), and overall survival (12% relative reduction, P=.03). Other-cause mortality (non-prostate cancer) did not differ (5% relative reduction, P=.48).

Conclusions: LTAD and RT is superior to STAD and RT for the treatment of locally advanced nonmetastatic adenocarcinoma of the prostate and should be considered the standard of care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2017.02.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5603177PMC
June 2017

Prospective Validation of Diagnostic Tumor Biomarkers in Men Treated With Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2017 02;109(2):1-8

Departments of Radiation Oncology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA.

Background: In prior retrospective studies, we assessed a number of prostate tumor tissue biomarkers that were associated independently with the clinical outcome of men treated with radiotherapy (RT) ± androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). In this report, the associations of selected biomarkers with biochemical or clinical disease failure (BCDF) were prospectively evaluated in men with T1-T3 prostate cancer on a randomized hypofractionation trial.

Methods: Biomarkers were analyzed in 263 of 303 men randomly assigned to standard vs moderate hypofractionation. Median follow-up was 65.9 months. Archival tissue was analyzed for Ki-67 (n = 231), MDM2 (n = 209), p16 (n = 195), Cox-2 (n = 126), p53 (n = 206), bcl2 (n = 223), bax (n = 210), and PKA (n = 160). The base model for multivariable Fine-Gray regression analysis included treatment assignment and risk groups. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results: Each biomarker was tested one at a time relative to the base model and selected for inclusion in multivariable analysis. Ki-67 (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.31, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.19 to 4.48, P = .01) and bcl2&bax (HR = 2.19, 95% CI = 1.08 to 4.46, P = .03) were statistically significantly related to higher BCDF and were independently statistically significant when considered jointly (Ki-67: HR = 2.26, 95% CI = 1.12 to 4.58, P = .02; bcl2&bax: HR = 2.14, 95% CI = 1.03 to 4.41, P = .04). At 2.5 years postradiotherapy, the C-index of Ki-67 was 73.2%, while for the base model was only 46.2%; Ki-67 was the most statistically significant when tested without bcl2&bax.

Conclusions: In this prospective multiple biomarker analysis in men with prostate cancer treated with RT±ADT, both Ki-67 and bcl2&bax were independently related to early BCDF; however, Ki-67 alone is indicated to be the most clinically meaningful by C-index analysis and is universally available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djw232DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6075027PMC
February 2017

Adjuvant radiation therapy, androgen deprivation, and docetaxel for high-risk prostate cancer postprostatectomy: Results of NRG Oncology/RTOG study 0621.

Cancer 2017 Jul 21;123(13):2489-2496. Epub 2017 Mar 21.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.

Background: Phase 3 trials have demonstrated a benefit from adjuvant radiation therapy (ART) for men who have adverse factors at radical prostatectomy (RP). However, some patients have a high risk of progression despite ART. The role of systemic therapy with ART in this high-risk group remains to be defined.

Methods: Patients who had either a post-RP prostate-specific antigen (PSA) nadir > 0.2 ng/mL and a Gleason score ≥7 or a PSA nadir ≤0.2 ng/mL, a Gleason score ≥8, and a pathologic tumor (pT) classification ≥ pT3 received 6 months of androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) plus radiotherapy and 6 cycles of docetaxel. The primary objective was to assess whether the addition of ADT and docetaxel to ART resulted in a freedom from progression (FFP) rate ≥ 70% compared with an expected rate of 50%. Multivariate logistic and Cox regression analyses were used to model associations between factors and outcomes.

Results: In total, 74 patients were enrolled. The median follow-up was 4.4 years. The pathologic tumor classification was pT2 in 4% of patients, pT3 in 95%, and pT4 in 1%. The Gleason score was 7 in 18% of patients and ≥8 in 82%. Post-RP PSA levels were ≤0.2 ng/mL in 53% of patients and >0.2 ng/mL in 47%. The 3-year FFP rate was 73% (95% confidence interval, 61%-83%), and the 3-year cumulative incidence of biochemical, distant, and local failure was 26%, 7%, and 0%, respectively. In multivariate models, postprostatectomy PSA nadir was associated with 3-year FFP, Gleason score, and PSA with biochemical failure. Grade 3 and 4 neutropenia was common; however, only 3 episodes of febrile neutropenia occurred. Late toxicities were not impacted by the addition of systemic therapy.

Conclusions: Combined ADT, docetaxel, and ART for men with high-risk prostate cancer after prostatectomy exceeded the prespecified study endpoint of 70% 3-year FFP. Phase 3 trials assessing combined local and systemic therapies for these high-risk patients are warranted. Cancer 2017;123:2489-96. © 2017 American Cancer Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.30620DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5474197PMC
July 2017

The need for androgen deprivation therapy in patients with intermediate-risk prostate cancer treated with dose-escalated external beam radiation therapy.

Can J Urol 2017 Feb;24(1):8656-8662

Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Introduction: To evaluate if androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) improves outcomes for patients with localized, intermediate-risk prostate cancer treated with definitive external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) in the dose-escalated era.

Materials And Methods: This is a retrospective study using a single institutional database. We included patients with localized, intermediate-risk prostate cancer treated with dose-escalated radiation therapy (RT) with 3D conformal radiotherapy or intensity-modulated radiotherapy (74-80 Gy in daily fraction of 1.8 Gy-2.0 Gy, or 70.2 Gy in daily fraction of 2.7 Gy) from 1992 to 2013. To further risk stratify the patients, PSA 10 ng/mL-20 ng/mL, Gleason 3+4, and T2b-T2c were assigned risk score (RS) of 1, while Gleason 4+3 was assigned RS of 2. Patients with prior treatment for prostate cancer, those on long term ADT (>= 23 months), or those with follow up < 1 year were excluded. We defined initial ADT as initiation within 9 months prior to the start of RT, during RT, or within 2 months after the completion of RT. Outcomes for patients who received initial ADT were compared to men treated with RT alone. Covariates included number of intermediate risk factors, age, and baseline comorbidities. Kaplan Meier estimates were compared using log rank tests. Competing risk regression and Cox proportional hazards regression were used to estimate hazard ratios adjusted for covariates.

Results: Of 1,134 patients included in this study, 155 received initial ADT with median duration of 4.0 months (m) (range 0.5 m-22.0 m). The median follow up was 56.4 m (range 12.3 m-200.7 m). Patients on ADT had higher RS compared to those with radiation alone (RS 1: 48% versus 58%; RS 2: 35% versus 32%; RS 3: 14% versus 9%; RS 4: 3% versus 1%; p=0.01). When patients with ADT were compared to those treated with radiation alone, there were no significant differences in freedom from biochemical failure (FFBF) (84.0% versus 87.3%, p = 0.83), freedom from distant metastasis (FFDM) (94.4% versus 96.9%, p = 0.41), or overall survival (OS) (92.3% versus 90.7%, (p = 0.48) at 5 years. Among patients with RS >= 2, there were still no significant differences in FFBF, FFDM, or OS when patients treated with ADT were compared to those treated with radiation alone. In multivariable analyses adjusting for RS and age, the adjusted hazard ratio for ADT use was sHR = 0.89 (95% CI = 0.64-1.66, p = 0.64) for BCF; sHR = 1.13 (95% CI = 0.48-2.65, p = 0.77) for DM. For overall mortality, adjusted HR = 1.23 (95% CI = 0.76-2.01, p = 0.40) where comorbidities (including diabetes, cardiac disease, and hypertension) were also included as covariates.

Conclusion: Our study suggested that treatment of intermediate-risk prostate cancer with definitive dose-escalated EBRT alone resulted in acceptable outcomes, and it failed to show improved outcomes in patients who received short term ADT.
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February 2017

Long-Term Patient-Reported Outcomes From a Phase 3 Randomized Prospective Trial of Conventional Versus Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy for Localized Prostate Cancer.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2017 03 28;97(4):722-731. Epub 2016 Dec 28.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address:

Purpose: To assess the long-term quality of life (QoL) outcomes from a phase 3 trial comparing 2 modes of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT): conventional IMRT (CIMRT) versus hypofractionated IMRT (HIMRT) in patients with localized prostate cancer.

Methods And Materials: Between 2002 and 2006, 303 men with low-risk to high-risk prostate cancer were randomized to 76 Gy in 38 fractions (CIMRT) versus 70.2 Gy in 26 fractions (HIMRT). QoL was compared by use of the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC), the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), and EuroQoL (EQ5D) questionnaires. The primary outcome of the QoL analysis was a minimum clinically important difference defined as a 0.5 standard deviation change from baseline for each respective QoL parameter. Treatment effects were evaluated with the use of logistic mixed effects regression models.

Results: A total of 286, 299, and 218 patients had baseline EPIC, IPSS, or EQ5D data available and were included in the analysis. Overall, there was no statistically significant difference between the 2 treatment arms in terms of EPIC, IPSS, or EQ5D scores over time, although there was a trend toward lower EPIC urinary incontinence scores in the HIMRT arm. More patients in the HIMRT arm had a lower EPIC urinary incontinence score relative to baseline versus patients in the CIMRT arm with long-term follow-up. On multivariable analysis, there was no association between radiation fractionation scheme and any QoL parameter. When other clinical factors were examined, lymph node radiation was associated with worse EPIC hormonal scores versus patients receiving no lymph node radiation. In general, QoL outcomes were generally stable over time, with the exception of EPIC hormonal and EQ5D scores.

Conclusions: In this randomized prospective study, there were stable QoL changes in patients receiving HIMRT or CIMRT. Our results add to the growing body of literature suggesting that HIMRT may be an acceptable treatment modality in clinically localized prostate cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2016.12.034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5331910PMC
March 2017