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 J Hornberger, Marisa A. Kollmeier, Sean McBride, Chul Ahn, Claus Roehrborn, Robert D. Timmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


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)
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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