Research Article: Radical Prostatectomy and Intraoperative Radiation Therapy in High-Risk Prostate Cancer

Date Published: January 30, 2012

Publisher: Hindawi Publishing Corporation

Author(s): Giansilvio Marchioro, Alessandro Volpe, Roberto Tarabuzzi, Giuseppina Apicella, Marco Krengli, Carlo Terrone.


Intraoperative electron beam radiotherapy (IOERT) for prostate cancer (PC) is a radiotherapeutic technique, giving high doses of radiation during radical prostatectomy (RP). This paper presents the published treatment approaches for intraoperative radiotherapy analyzing functional outcome, morbidity, and oncological outcome in patients with clinical intermediate-high-risk prostate cancer. A systematic review of the literature was performed, searching PubMed and Web of Science. A “free text” protocol using the term intraoperative radiotherapy and prostate cancer was applied. Ten records were retrieved and analyzed including more than 150 prostate cancer patients treated with IOERT. IOERT represents a feasible technique with acceptable surgical time and minimal toxicity. A greater number of cases and longer follow-up time are needed in order to assess the long-term side effects and oncological outcome.

Partial Text

The optimal treatment of locally advanced PC is still unclear [1]. The use of radical prostatectomy (RP) alone is controversial, and external beam radiation (EBRT) associated with hormonal therapy (HT) has been the traditional treatment modality for this stage of disease [2]. However, even with the use of multimodal approaches, only a 37–62% and 44% disease-free survival at 5 and 10 years can be obtained [3–7] and side effects of these treatments are not limited [2].

A literature search was performed using PubMed and Web of Science from 1975 to 2011. The keywords IOERT and PC were used. A free-text strategy was applied without limitations. We retrieved 11 references dealing with IOERT and PC (Table 1). Only phase I-II studies are available. No randomized clinical trials (RCTs), systematic reviews of cohort studies, and low-quality RCTs are reported. The aim was not to produce a meta-analysis but to critically evaluate and discuss the use of IOERT in the treatment of PC.

The first series of IOERT for PC was reported by the Kyoto University and Saitama Cancer Center in Japan. The authors initially carried out IOERT as single treatment or in combination with PLND or EBRT to pelvic lymph nodes [9–11, 16, 17]. Perineal approach without RP using electron energy from 10 to 14 Mev has been performed in 14 patients by Takahashi et al. [9]. Five patients treated by IOERT alone received single doses of 2800 to 3500 cGy. Two patients treated with 2800 and 3000 cGy, respectively, had local recurrence. A single dose of 2000 or 2500 cGy was delivered intraoperatively to 9 patients as a boost dose in conjunction with external irradiation of 5000 cGy for the treatment of pelvic lymph nodes. All these patients achieved local control. No patients in the overall series developed serious bladder, urethral, or rectal complications. An update from the same center reported a local control and 5-year survival rates of 81% and 72%, respectively, with 2% late toxicity consisting of chronic cystitis and urethral stricture [17].

Optimal treatment strategy for locally advanced PC remains unknown. Local control after RP depends on Gleason score, preoperative PSA level, pathological stage, and margins status [21].

IOERT is safe and feasible with a low complication rate after short-intermediate follow-up. Combined RP and IOERT are potentially an effective first step in the multimodality approach for the treatment of high-risk PC. Finally, comparative trials are needed to allow a statistically powerful comparison of IOERT outcomes with those of gold standard treatments for high-risk PC. Until long-term safety and oncological results of IOERT are not available, this technique should be considered an experimental option in the treatment of high-risk PC.




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