The effect of radiation therapy on post-prostatectomy urinary function

David K. Jenkins, Gregory P. Swanson, Sameer G. Jhavar, Kristofer R. Wagner, Chul S. Ha, Wencong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Aim: We sought to evaluate the effect of radiation therapy on post-prostatectomy urinary quality of life in prostate cancer patients. Background: In some men with non-metastatic prostate cancer, radiation therapy is indicated following prostatectomy. The radiation toxicity and quality of life considerations are unique in the post-prostatectomy setting. Materials and methods: A total of 106 patients receiving post-prostatectomy radiation therapy completed the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite questionnaire before radiation and at 2-year follow-up. The primary outcomes of this study were the urinary domain summary score and subscale scores. Planned analysis was performed based on time interval from prostatectomy to radiation therapy. Results: Among the 106 patients analyzed, the mean urinary domain summary score worsened at 2-year follow-up after radiation therapy, lowering from 77.23–72.51 (p = 0.0085). Similar worsening was observed in the subscales of function (p = 0.003), bother (p = 0.0397), and incontinence (p = 0.0003). Urinary incontinence showed the greatest observable change among subscales. While the summary score worsened (p = 0.0031) among patients receiving radiation therapy more than 1 year after prostatectomy, it did not show statistically significant change in those treated 1 year or less after prostatectomy. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that post-prostatectomy radiation therapy is associated with modest declines in reportable urinary quality of life. Patients receiving radiation therapy more than 1 year after prostatectomy showed greater worsening of urinary quality of life, which indicates that there may be no functional advantage to delaying radiation therapy beyond the initial postoperative period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-446
Number of pages5
JournalReports of Practical Oncology and Radiotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • Incontinence
  • Postoperative
  • Prostate
  • Radiotherapy
  • Toxicity.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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