A pilot study of patient reported outcomes evaluating treatment related symptoms and quality of life for men receiving high dose rate brachytherapy combined with hypo-fractionated radiotherapy or hypo-fractionated radiotherapy alone for the treatment of localised prostate cancer

Karen Crowther, Aidan Cole, Pat Shiels, Suneil Jain, Paul Shepherd, Darren Mitchell

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Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS) are useful metrics in evidence-based clinical care and translational research. Recording treatment-related symptoms and Quality of Life (QoL) can provide information in counselling patients to aid decision-making. This prospective study tested the feasibility of radiographer-led collection of multiple validated PROMS from Prostate Cancer (PCa) patients comparing High Dose Rate Brachytherapy combined with hypo-fractionated external beam radiotherapy (hEBRT) and hEBRT alone.

From June to August 2017, 20 men with localised PCa (T1-T3aN0M0) consented to participate in the study. Ten patients received combination treatment (37.5 Gray/15 fractions followed by a 15 Gray implant), and ten patients received monotherapy (60 Gray/20 fractions). PROMS were collected at four time-points (1) at baseline, (2) final fraction of hEBRT, (3) 8 weeks after commencing radiotherapy and (4) 12 weeks after commencing radiotherapy. The PROMS used were EPIC-26, IPSS, IIEFF-5 and SF-12. The difference between the two groups were tested using Mann-Whitney U test and Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test.

All participants completed all PROMS (100% response-rate). The Monotherapy group reported a higher incidence of bowel symptoms compared to the combination group and at Week 12, EPIC-26 bowel summary score demonstrated a statistically significant difference (p = 0.005). The prevalence of erectile dysfunction increased within both groups. Maintenance of QoL was reported throughout treatment.

This small study demonstrated feasibility of radiographer-led PROMS collection by 100% completion rate. Streamlining of these tools into integrated technology applications and real time PROMS measurement has the ability to benefit patients and guide clinicians in adapting therapies based on individual need.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-25
Number of pages8
JournalTechnical Innovations and Patient Support in Radiation Oncology
Early online date22 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019



  • Prostate cancer
  • Hypo-fractionated
  • HDR brachytherapy
  • Patient-reported outcome measures
  • quality of life

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