Predictive models of toxicity with external radiotherapy for prostate cancer: Clinical issues

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The objective of the current study was to analyze the state of the art and present limitations of available predictive clinical models (when available) estimating the risk of genitourinary tract and small bowel complications, erectile dysfunction, and acute and late symptoms of the rectal syndrome caused by prostate cancer external irradiation. An analysis of the literature indicated that very limited attention has been devoted to the development of "integrated," patient-tailored, user-friendly, and clinically usable tools for the prediction of external beam radiotoxicity. In this article, the authors reported on the multivariate correlation between late genitourinary and gastrointestinal toxicities and clinical/dosimetric risk factors, as well as on the first set of nomograms developed to predict acute and late rectal side effects. At the present state of knowledge, the use of nomograms as predictive instruments of radiotoxicity appears to be particularly attractive for several main reasons. They are "user friendly" and easily developed using the results of multivariate analyses, as they weigh the combined effects of multiple independent factors found to be correlated with the selected clinical endpoint. The integrated evaluation of clinical and dosimetric parameters in the single patient can help to provide a tailored probability of the specific outcome considered. Predicting a high probability of toxicity could avoid unnecessary daily costs for the individual patient in terms of quality of life modification during and after treatment, helping patients in the decision-making process of choosing the best individual, quality of life-related treatment, and clinicians in better tailoring the treatment to patient's characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3141-3149
Number of pages9
Issue numberSUPPL 13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2009


  • Conformal radiotherapy
  • Nomograms
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radio-induced toxicity prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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