Hypofractionated Postoperative Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer: Is the Field Ready Yet?

Sean Mahase, Himanshu Nagar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Context: Radiotherapy (RT) is a valid adjuvant treatment for men with high-risk pathological features after radical prostatectomy and a salvage treatment for biochemical recurrence. A major inconvenience is that RT takes course over 7–8 wk in these settings, which has been shown to limit its use. Retrospective and pilot prospective investigations suggest that hypofractionation may provide noninferior outcomes but report variable results regarding toxicities. Additionally, our evolving understanding of prostate cancer radiobiology suggests that hypofractionated regimens may not increase toxicity. Objective: We examine and review the rationale and clinical evidence of hypofractionated RT in the adjuvant and salvage settings for prostate cancer. Evidence acquisition: We reviewed relevant literature, with a particular focus on recent studies employing hypofractionated RT. Evidence synthesis: Hypofractionated RT in the adjuvant or salvage setting is not a standard option for prostate cancer RT outside of an investigational trial. While smaller studies show conflicting data regarding toxicity, initial evidence from larger clinical trials appears to demonstrate that hypofractionated postoperative RT is as effective and safe as conventionally fractionated courses. Conclusions: With the growing acceptance of hypofractionation across other cancer sites and the rise of extreme hypofractionation for definitive prostate cancer treatment, hypofractionated postoperative therapy for prostate cancer is poised to become an option, as it may reduce the burden on men and treatment centers while maintaining clinical efficacy and safety. Prospective trials are currently ongoing to address efficacy and safety concerns. Patient summary: Postoperative radiotherapy is a potentially curative treatment for patients with high-risk disease or recurrence after surgery. Shortening of the treatment regimen with the availability of modern treatment delivery techniques in conjunction with the integration of molecular imaging information to refine treatment volumes may improve therapeutic benefit without increasing toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-16
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Urology Open Science
StatePublished - Dec 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Urology


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