Sexual Structure Sparing for Prostate Cancer Radiotherapy: A Systematic Review - Institut de cancérologie de l'Ouest Access content directly
Journal Articles European Urology Oncology Year : 2023

Sexual Structure Sparing for Prostate Cancer Radiotherapy: A Systematic Review


Context: Erectile dysfunction represents a major side effect of prostate cancer (PCa) treatment, negatively impacting men's quality of life. While radiation therapy (RT) advances have enabled the mitigation of both genitourinary and gastrointestinal toxicities, no significant improvement has been showed in sexual quality of life over time. Objective: The primary aim of this review was to assess sexual structures' dose-volume parameters associated with the onset of erectile dysfunction. Evidence acquisition: We searched the PubMed database and until January 4, 2023. Studies reporting the impact of the dose delivered to sexual structures on sexual function or the feasibility of innovative sexual structure-sparing approaches were deemed eligible. Evidence synthesis: Sexual-sparing strategies have involved four sexual organs. The mean penile bulb doses exceeding 20 Gy are predictive of erectile dysfunction in modern PCa RT trial. Maintaining a D100% of ≤36 Gy on the internal pudendal arteries showed preservation of erectile function in 88% of patients at 5 yr. Neurovascular bundle sparing appears feasible with magnetic resonance-guided radiation therapy, yet its clinical impact remains unanswered. Doses delivered to the testicles during PCa RT usually remain <2 Gy and generate a decrease in testosterone levels ranging from -4.6% to -17%, unlikely to have any clinical impact. Conclusions: Current data highlight the technical feasibility of sexual sparing for PCa RT. The proportion of erectile dysfunction attributable to the dose delivered to sexual structures is still largely unknown. While the ability to maintain sexual function over time is impacted by factors such as age or comorbidities, only selected patients are likely to benefit from sexual-sparing RT. Patient summary: Technical advances in radiation therapy (RT) made it possible to significantly lower the dose delivered to sexual structures. While sexual function is known to decline with age, the preservation of sexual structures for prostate cancer RT is likely to be beneficial only in selected patients.
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inserm-04517271 , version 1 (22-03-2024)





Jennifer Le Guevelou, Paul Sargos, Ludovic Ferretti, Stephane Supiot, David Pasquier, et al.. Sexual Structure Sparing for Prostate Cancer Radiotherapy: A Systematic Review. European Urology Oncology, inPress, S2588-9311 (23), pp.00163-3. ⟨10.1016/j.euo.2023.08.003⟩. ⟨inserm-04517271⟩
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