Refinement & validation of rectal wall dose volume objectives for prostate hypofractionation in 20 fractions

Giuseppe Sanguineti, Adriana Faiella, Alessia Farneti, Pasqualina D'Urso, Valentina Fuga, Michela Olivieri, Diana Giannarelli, Simona Marzi, Giuseppe Iaccarino, Valeria Landoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and purpose: Dose-volume objectives for the rectum have been proposed to limit long term toxicity after moderately hypofractionated radiotherapy (MHRT) for localized prostate cancer. The purpose of the present study is to validate and possibly refine dose volume objective for the rectal wall after 20-fraction MHRT. Materials and methods: All patients treated by 20-fraction MHRT at a single Institution were identified and relative rectal wall (%RW) DVH retrieved. The endpoint of the study is the development of grade 2+ late rectal bleeding (LRB) according to a modified RTOG scale. Clinical and dosimetric predictors of LRB were investigated at both uni- and multi-variable analysis. Results: 293 patients were identified and analyzed. Of them, 35 (12%) developed the endpoint. At univariable analysis, antithrombotic drug usage (yes vs no), technique (3DCRT vs IMRT/VMAT) and several %RW DVH cut-points were significantly correlated with LRB. However, within patients treated by 3DCRT (N = 106), a bi-variable model including anti-thrombotic drug usage and selected %RW dose/volume metrics failed to identify independent dosimetric predictors of LRB. Conversely, within patients treated with intensity modulation (N = 187), the same model showed a progressively higher impact of the percent of RW receiving doses above 40 Gy. Based on this model, we were able to confirm (V32), refine (V60) and identify a novel (V50) cut-point for the %RW. Conclusion: We recommend the following dose volume objectives for the %RW in order to minimize the risk of LRB after 20-fraction MHRT: V32 ≤ 50%; V50 ≤ 25.8% and V60 ≤ 10%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Translational Radiation Oncology
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Hypofractionation
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Rectal wall

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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