Comparative efficacy of palliative radiotherapy dose schedules in advanced bladder cancer-associated gross hematuria

21 Jun 2024
Kashif Ali Sarwar, Sameed Hussain, Ahsan Mahmood, Zeeshan Ahmed Alvi, Ateeqa Saad

Introduction: Gross hematuria (GH) in advanced/inoperable bladder cancer patients causes significant morbidity. Patients frequently need multiple transfusions. Hypofractionated radiotherapy (RT) has been shown to be effective in symptom palliation. In this study, we explore the efficacy of various fractionation regimens in these patients.

Methods: This single institute retrospective analysis was conducted on 60 consecutive patients treated with palliative RT. Fractionation (single versus multiple) and biologically equivalent doses (BED; high ≥36 Gy versus low <36 Gy) were used to compare the efficacy of various fractionation regimens. The primary outcome was the difference in objective response rate (ORR) between various strata at 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks. Major secondary outcomes were differences in ORR according to Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) and tumour node metastases (TNM) stage, and the proportion of patients requiring re-transfusion(s) at 12 weeks. Data were analysed using SPSS 23.

Results: Overall ORR at 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks was 86%, 77%, 67% and 55%, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in response rates between single or multi-fraction, or high versus low BED groups (All p = >0.05). Moreover, ECOG PS (p = 0.11) or TNM stage (p = 0.58) also had no impact on the response rate at 12 weeks. Nearly one-third (31%) of patients required further transfusions at 12 weeks.

Conclusion: RT is an effective modality to control GH. No difference in ORR was found between single fractions versus multiple fractions, or high versus low BED regimens. Single fraction RT can be offered to these patients considering low cost, patient convenience and minimal side effects.

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