Reduced radiation tolerance of penile structures associated with dose-escalated hypofractionated prostate radiotherapy

Academic Article


  • Objective To investigate the effect of hypofractionated external beam radiation therapy (RT) on sexual function in patients treated for localized prostate cancer, and also to determine the effect of radiation dose to the penile bulb or crura of the corpus cavernosum on sexual function outcome. Materials and Methods Forty-one patients treated with hypofractionated RT without androgen deprivation were prescribed 67.6-70.2 Gy to the prostate, delivered in 26-28 fractions. The primary endpoint was erectile dysfunction (ED) category based on the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM) score closest to 2 years from RT. The penile bulb and crura were contoured and mean radiation dose calculated for each structure. Results The mean pretreatment SHIM score was 19.8, and the mean posttreatment SHIM score was 15.1. The ED category was decreased by ≥2 in 50% of patients with a mean penile bulb of >20 Gy compared with that in 9% of patients with a mean penile bulb dose of ≤20 Gy (P = .003). Mean dose to the crura was highly correlated with mean dose to the penile bulb (Pearson correlation = 0.842; P <.001) but did not reach statistical significance as a predictor of ED after radiation. Conclusion Radiation dose to the penile bulb is predictive of posttreatment ED in patients treated with dose-escalated hypofractionated prostate RT. The cutpoint at which this effect was observed with this treatment is substantially lower than the previous reports.
  • Published In

  • Urology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • McDonald AM; Baker CB; Shekar K; Popple RA; Clark GM; Yang ES; Jacob R; Kim RY; Fiveash JB
  • Start Page

  • 1383
  • End Page

  • 1388
  • Volume

  • 84
  • Issue

  • 6