Radical radiation therapy for prostate cancer in Japan: A patterns of care study report

Katsumasa Nakamura, Teruki Teshima, Yutaka Takahashi, Atsushi Imai, Masahiko Koizumi, Norio Mitsuhashi, Toshihiko Inoue

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22 Scopus citations


Background: The patterns of radical radiation therapy for prostate cancer are unclear in Japan. A Patterns of Care Study was performed throughout Japan to examine the patterns of radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Methods: From 1999 to 2000, extramural audits were performed on 50 randomly selected institutions (∼7% of all institutions in Japan). Detailed information was collected on a total of 311 prostate cancer patients without evidence of distant metastases, who were treated by radiation therapy between 1996 and 1998. Of these 311 patients, 162 treated radically using photon beams were analyzed in this study. Results: Eighty percent of the patients had high-risk diseases defined as T3 or T4 tumors, a pretreatment prostate-specific antigen level >20 ng/ml or poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma. Androgen ablation was performed in 85.8% of patients and the median duration of hormonal therapy before and after radiation therapy was 5.3 and 21.4 months, respectively. The median total dose of radiation therapy to the prostate was 65.0 Gy (range: 20-74 Gy). The 3-year overall and biochemical relapse-free survival rates were 86.7 and 86.1%, respectively. Late toxicity was mild, with only nine patients (5.6%) exhibiting grade 2 late morbidity. Conclusions: The majority of the patients who received radical radiation therapy in Japan have high-risk disease. Androgen ablation plus radiation therapy was commonly used to treat these patients and resulted in high rates of initial control with a low risk of complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-126
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Journal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by a Grant-in Aid for Cancer Research (Nos. 10-17 and 14-6) from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and a Grant from Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences. We thank all radiation oncologists who participated in this study. Their efforts in providing us with information makes these surveys possible.


  • Patterns of Care Study
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radiation therapy


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