Comparison of treatment volumes and techniques in prostate cancer radiation therapy

Catherine T. Lee, Lei Dong, Anesa W. Ahamad, Haesun Choi, Rex Cheung, Andrew K. Lee, David F. Horne, Allan J. Breaux, Deborah A. Kuban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare dose-volume histograms (DVHs) for 3 target volumes (group 1, prostate + seminal vesicles + pelvic lymph nodes; group 2, prostate + seminal vesicles; group 3, prostate only) to determine the difference in dose to normal structures (rectum, bladder, and femoral heads) while controlling for target dose using 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3DCRT) versus intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Methods: Ten patients with localized prostate cancer were randomly selected. 3DCRT and IMRT planning were done to deliver 75.6 Gy to the prostate, 50.4 Gy to the pelvic nodes, and 55.8 Gy to the seminal vesicles at a standard fractionation of 1.8 Gy. An additional plan delivering 75.6 Gy to the seminal vesicles using IMRT was run. DVHs were compared for 3DCRT and IMRT. Results: In all 3 groups, the percent rectum receiving ≥70 Gy, ≥60 Gy, and ≥4O Gy was significantly less for IMRT than for 3DCRT. Increasing target volumes, as necessary for pelvic nodal irradiation, overall did not result in higher rectal doses for IMRT. With 3DCRT, however, larger target volumes did increase the amount of rectum irradiated. Similar results were obtained for the femoral heads whereas results for the bladder were mixed. Conclusion: When compared with 3DCRT, IMRT delivered equivalent or higher doses to the target volume with greater sparing of critical organs. Because dose-volume parameters have been shown to relate to toxicity, IMRT would appear to be the favored technique for prostate cancer radiation, particularly with regard to nodal treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)618-625
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005



  • Dose-volume histogram
  • IMRT
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radiotherapy
  • Rectal complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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