Confirmation of a Low α/β Ratio for Prostate Cancer Treated by External Beam Radiation Therapy Alone Using a Post-Treatment Repeated-Measures Model for PSA Dynamics Academic Article uri icon


  • To estimate the α/β ratio of prostate cancer treated with external beam radiation only by use of a model of long-term prostate-specific antigen (PSA) dynamics.Repeated measures of PSA from 5,093 patients from 6 institutions treated for localized prostate cancer by external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) without planned androgen deprivation were analyzed. A biphasic linear mixed model described the post-treatment evolution of PSA, rather than a conventional model of time to biochemical recurrence. The model was adjusted for standard prognostic factors (T stage, initial PSA level, and Gleason score) and cohort-specific effects. The radiation dose fractionation effect was estimated from the long-term rate of rise of PSA level.Adjusted for other factors, total dose of EBRT and sum of squared doses per fraction were associated with long-term rate of change of PSA level (p = 0.0017 and p = 0.0003, respectively), an increase of each being associated with a lower rate of rise. The α/β ratio was estimated at 1.55 Gy (95% confidence band, 0.46-4.52 Gy). This estimate was robust to adjustment of the linear mixed model.By analysis of a large EBRT-only cohort along with a method that uses all the repeated measures of PSA after the end of treatment, a low and precise α/β was estimated. These data support the use of hypofractionation at fractional doses up to 2.8 Gy but cannot presently be assumed to accurately represent higher doses per fraction.


  • Proust-Lima, Cécile
  • Taylor, Jeremy MG
  • Sécher, Solène
  • Sandler, Howard
  • Kestin, Larry
  • Pickles, Tom
  • Bae, Kyoungwha
  • Allison, Roger
  • Williams, Scott

publication date

  • January 2011