Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of increasing fraction delivery time on the outcome of hypofractionated radiation therapy for prostate cancer.
Methods: Monoexponential and biexponential repair models have been used for patients with prostate cancer to study the loss of biochemical control at 5 years for several clinically relevant irradiation times. The theoretical predictions were compared with newly reported clinical results from 4607 patients undergoing conventionally fractionated and hypofractionated prostate radiation therapy.
Results: Time-demanding irradiation techniques appear to lead to biochemical control rates that sometimes are about 10–20 percentage points below predictions that neglect intrafraction repair. This difference appears to be of the same order of magnitude as that predicted by moderately slow to slow repair taking place during the irradiation time. The impact is largest for the patient risk groups receiving doses corresponding to the steepest part of the dose–response curve. By contrast, for treatment techniques requiring irradiation times shorter than about 20 min, the impact of intrafraction repair appears to be much smaller and probably difficult to be observed in the light of other sources of uncertainty in clinical data.
Conclusion: Neglecting intrafraction repair might overestimate the effectiveness of some treatment schedules and could also influence any subsequent estimations of fractionation sensitivity for prostate tumours.
Advances in knowledge: The effect of intrafraction repair for prostate cancer should be taken into account for long irradiation sessions as might be expected from scanned beams and/or from multiple intrafraction imaging sessions to check the positioning of the patient.
2015. Vol. 88, no 1056, 20150588