A trial looking at higher doses of radiotherapy for prostate cancer - RT01

Cancer type:

Prostate cancer




Phase 3

This trial was looking at giving higher doses of radiotherapy to men with prostate cancer that was contained within the prostate gland (localised).

A method called conformal radiotherapy allows doctors to give a higher dose of radiotherapy. This may be better at controlling cancer, but researchers wanted to find out if having a higher dose of radiotherapy was safe.

All the men who took part in this trial had a few months of hormone therapy before having radiotherapy.

The aims of the trial were to

  • See if a higher dose of conformal radiotherapy was better at controlling prostate cancer
  • Learn more about the side effects

Summary of results

The researchers found that giving men a higher dose of radiotherapy helped to stop prostate cancer coming back.

The trial recruited 843 men. They were put into 2 groups by a computer. This is called randomisation.

  • Group 1 had the standard dose of radiotherapy over 6 and a half weeks
  • Group 2 had a higher dose over 7 and a half weeks

If prostate cancer starts to grow again after treatment, a marker in the blood called prostate specific antigen (PSA) goes up. The researchers found that after 5 years, the PSA level had gone up or they could see that the cancer had come back in

  • 40 out of every 100 men in group 1 (40%)
  • 29 out of every 100 men in group 2 (29%)

Men in both groups had short term side effects affecting the bowel and bladder during radiotherapy treatment. These side effects got better quite quickly after the treatment finished.

Long term bladder problems were about the same for both groups. But more men in the higher dose group had long term side effects affecting the bowel.

The researchers believe that these results show the benefits of the higher dose treatment outweigh the risk of more side effects.

We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor David Dearnaley

Supported by

Medical Research Council (MRC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 687

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Keith took part in a trial looking into hormone therapy

A picture of Keith

"Health wise I am feeling great. I am a big supporter of trials - it allows new treatments and drugs to be brought in.”

Last reviewed:

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