Radical radiotherapy for invasive bladder cancer: What dose and fractionation schedule to choose?

Floris J Pos, Guus Hart, Christoph Schneider, Peter Sminia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


PURPOSE: To establish the alpha/beta ratio of bladder cancer from different radiotherapy schedules reported in the literature and provide guidelines for the design of new treatment schemes.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Ten external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and five brachytherapy schedules were selected. The biologically effective dose (BED) of each schedule was calculated. Logistic modeling was used to describe the relationship between 3-year local control (LC3y) and BED.

RESULTS: The estimated alpha/beta ratio was 13 Gy (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.5-69 Gy) for EBRT and 24 Gy (95% CI, 1.3-460 Gy) for EBRT and brachytherapy combined. There is evidence for an overall dose-response relationship. After an increase in total dose of 10 Gy, the odds of LC3y increase by a factor of 1.44 (95% CI, 1.23-1.70) for EBRT and 1.47 (95% CI, 1.25-1.72) for the data sets of EBRT and brachytherapy combined.

CONCLUSION: With the clinical data currently available, a reliable estimation of the alpha/beta ratio for bladder cancer is not feasible. It seems reasonable to use a conventional alpha/beta ratio of 10-15 Gy. Dose escalation could significantly increase local control. There is no evidence to support short overall treatment times or large fraction sizes in radiotherapy for bladder cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1168-73
Number of pages6
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2006

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