A Multi-Institutional Phase 2 Trial of High-Dose SAbR for Prostate Cancer Using Rectal Spacer

Michael R Folkert, Michael J. Zelefsky, Raquibul Hannan, Neil B. Desai, Yair Lotan, Aaron M. Laine, D. W.Nathan Kim, Sarah Hardee Neufeld, Brad Hornberger, Marisa A. Kollmeier, Sean McBride, Chul Ahn, Claus Roehrborn, Robert D. Timmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: High-dose SABR for prostate cancer offers the radiobiologic potency of the most intensified radiation therapy regimens but was associated with >90% rates of ulceration of the anterior rectal wall on endoscopic assessment; this infrequently progressed to severe rectal toxicity in prior prospective series. A multi-institutional phase 2 prospective trial was conducted to assess whether placement of a perirectal hydrogel spacer would reduce acute periprostatic rectal ulcer events after high-dose (>40 Gy) SABR. Methods and Materials: Eligible patients included men with stage ≤T2c localized grade group 1 to 3 prostate cancer, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level ≤15 ng/mL, American Urological Association Symptom Index = AUA-SI scores ≤18, and a gland volume ≤80 cm3. Patients underwent perirectal hydrogel spacer placement, followed by SABR of 45 Gy in 5 fractions every other day to the prostate only. Androgen deprivation was not allowed except for cytoreduction. The rectal wall was directly assessed by serial anoscopy during follow-up to determine whether the spacer would reduce acute periprostatic rectal ulcer events from >90% to <70% within 9 months of treatment. Results: Forty-four men were enrolled and 43 were eligible for protocol analysis. The median follow-up for surviving patients was 48 months. Acute periprostatic ulcers were observed in 6 of 42 patients (14.3%; 95% confidence interval, 6.0%-27%; P < .001) at a median of 2.9 months posttreatment (range, 1.7-5.6 months). All ulcers (grade 1, 5 ulcers; grade 2, 1 ulcer) resolved on repeat anoscopy within 8 months of incidence. There were no grade ≥3 late gastrointestinal toxicities; the incidence of late grade-2 gastrointestinal toxicities was 14.3%, with a prevalence at 3 years of 0%. No toxicities greater than grade 3 occurred in any domain. Four-year freedom from biochemical failure was 93.8% (95% CI, 85.2%-100.0%). Conclusions: Temporary hydrogel spacer placement before high-dose SABR treatment for localized prostate cancer and use of strict dose constraints are associated with a significant reduction in the incidence of rectal ulcer events compared with prior phase 1/2 trial results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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