ASCENDE-RT: An Analysis of Health-Related Quality of Life for a Randomized Trial Comparing Low-Dose-Rate Brachytherapy Boost With Dose-Escalated External Beam Boost for High- and Intermediate-Risk Prostate Cancer

Published:February 20, 2017DOI:


      To report the patient-reported health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) outcomes for a multicenter randomized trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of 2 different techniques for dose escalation.

      Methods and Materials

      A total of 357 men with intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancer were stratified by risk group and randomized (1:1) to either a dose-escalated external beam (DE-EBRT) boost (n=177) or a low-dose-rate prostate brachytherapy (LDR-PB) boost (n=180) as part of combined modality therapy. The HR-QoL was assessed using the SF36v2 questionnaire, with additional scales for urinary, bowel, and sexual function. Date of starting androgen deprivation therapy was considered time zero, the median follow-up of 6 years. Scales were scored from 0 to 100; a decline in a mean score ≥10 compared with baseline was considered a clinically significant decline. This was an intent-to-treat analysis.


      Mean domain scores at baseline were well balanced between the 2 treatment arms. A clinically significant decline in mean scores in both the arms compared with baseline was noted for role physical (DE-EBRT [−11.4] and LDR-PB [−15.3]) and sexual function scale (DE-EBRT [−15.1] and LDR-PB [−19.2]). There was a significantly larger drop in mean scores in the LDR-PB group compared with the DE-EBRT group for physical function (−15.3 vs −6.9; P=.03), urinary function (−3.6 vs −0.5; P=.04).


      At 6 years' follow up, there were no significant differences in mean scores in 9 of 11 scales compared with baseline in both arms. A clinically significant decline in mean scores was noted in both arms for role physical and sexual function scales. There was a statistically significant decline in physical function and urinary function scales in the LDR-PB arm compared with the DE-EBRT arm.
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