Split course radiotherapy for bladder cancer in elderly unfit patients
Vrouvas J., Dodwell D., Ash D., Probst H.
Between 1980 and 1987, 89 patients with T1-T4 carcinoma of the bladder were treated with a split course of external beam radiotherapy. All patients were felt to be unsuitable for a prolonged course of radical radiotherapy because of age and/or poor general health. The intention was to provide local control. The majority of patients were treated with 10-12 fractions, with a mean dose of 45 Gy (range 31.5-57.7), within a mean overall time of 48 days. Of the 89 patients only 62 were assessable with a median follow-up of 110 months (range 64-157). In the remainder, poor health, poor performance status, or early (<3 months) death did not allow assessment of tumour control. Complete remission was achieved in 28/89 (31%) patients. This was highly dependent on T stage: 56% T1/T2, 30% T3a/T3b, 5% T4. Median survival for patients with Stage T1/T2, T3a/T3b and T4 disease was 22, 10 and 8 months respectively. Acute grade 1-2 radiation reactions occurred in 60% of these patients, and only 5/62 (8%) experienced grade 2-3 late complications, assessed according to the RTOG scoring system. No patient had more severe treatment related morbidity. © 1995 The Royal College of Radiologists.