To assess 3–year health–related quality of life of patients treated with carbon ion radiotherapy for prostate cancer.
A total of 213 patients received carbon–ion radiotherapy at a total dose of 66?Gy equivalent in 20 fractions over 5 weeks, and neoadjuvant and adjuvant androgen deprivation therapy were administered for high–risk patients for at least 12 months. A health–related quality of life assessment was carried out at four time–points (immediately before the initiation of carbon–ion radiotherapy, immediately after, 12 and 36 months after completion of carbon–ion radiotherapy) using Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy General and for Prostate Cancer Patients.
The evaluable response rates among all responses were more than 94%. Overall, a significant decrease in the scores of the health–related quality of life 12 months after carbon–ion radiotherapy returned to their baseline levels at 36 months. Additionally, no significant decrease was observed in the scores at any of the assessment time–points compared with their baseline scores in the group of carbon–ion radiotherapy without androgen deprivation therapy; however, the presence of morbidity and biochemical failure significantly worsened the scores, and the decreases in the scores did not improve even at 36 months after carbon–ion radiotherapy.
An assessment based on a subjective scoring system shows a significant decrease in health–related quality of life at 12 months after carbon–ion radiation therapy, which tends to return to baseline levels at 36 months. The presence of morbidity and biochemical failure significantly worsen health–related quality of life scores. Further controlled studies focusing on health–related quality of life assessment in patients with prostate cancer are warranted.