Salvage re-irradiation using stereotactic body radiation therapy for locally recurrent prostate cancer: the impact of castration sensitivity on treatment outcomes

Ron Lewin*, Uri Amit, Menachem Laufer, Raanan Berger, Zohar Dotan, Liran Domachevsky, Tima Davidson, Orith Portnoy, Lev Tsvang, Maoz Ben-Ayun, Ilana Weiss, Zvi Symon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Advances in imaging, biomaterials and precision radiotherapy provide new opportunities to salvage locally recurrent prostate cancer (PC). This study evaluates the efficacy and safety of re-irradiation using stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). We hypothesized that patients with castrate-resistant PC (CRPC) would benefit less from local salvage. Methods: A prospective clinical database was reviewed to extract 30 consecutive patients treated with prostate re-irradiation. Gallium prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) ligand positron emission tomography was performed following prostate-specific antigen failure in all patients and biopsy was obtained in 18 patients (60%). Re-irradiation was either focal (n = 13) or whole-gland (n = 17). Endo-rectal balloons were used in twenty-two patients and hydrogel spacers in eight patients. The median prescription dose was 5 fractions of 6.5 (range: 6–8) Gray (Gy). Results: Median follow-up was 28 months. Failure occurred in 10 (out of 11) CRPC patients versus 6 (out of 19) castrate-sensitive patients (91% vs. 32%, p = 0.008) after a median of 13 and 23 months, respectively. Metastases occurred in 64% (n = 7) of CRPC patients versus 16% (n = 3) of castrate-sensitive patients (p = 0.007). Two patients experienced local in-field recurrence, thus local control was 93%. The 2 and 3-year recurrence-free survival were 84% and 79% for castrate-sensitive patients versus 18% and 9% for CRPC patients (p < 0.001), and 3-year metastasis-free survival was 90% versus 27% (p < 0.01) for castrate-sensitive and CRPC patients, respectively. Acute grade II and III genitourinary (GU) toxicity occurred in 27% and 3%, and late GU toxicity in 30% and 3%, respectively. No ≥ grade II acute gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity occurred, and only one patient (3%) developed late grade II toxicity. Conclusions: Early delivery of salvage SBRT for local recurrence is associated with excellent 3-year disease control and acceptable toxicity in the castrate-sensitive phenotype. PSMA imaging for detection of local recurrence and the use of precision radiotherapy with rectal protective devices should be further investigated as a novel salvage strategy for radio-recurrent PC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114
JournalRadiation Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Castrate resistant
  • Prostate
  • Re-irradiation
  • Salvage
  • Stereotactic body radiation therapy


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