Management of Biochemical Recurrence after Primary Curative Treatment for Prostate Cancer: A Review

How to manage patients with prostate cancer (PCa) with biochemical recurrence (BCR) following primary curative treatment is a controversial issue. Importantly, this prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-only recurrence is a surrogate neither of PCa-specific survival nor of overall survival. Physicians are therefore challenged with preventing or delaying the onset of clinical progression in those deemed at risk, while avoiding over-treating patients whose disease may never progress beyond PSA-only recurrence. Adjuvant therapy for radical prostatectomy (RP) or local radiotherapy (RT) has a role in certain at-risk patients, although it is not recommended in low-risk PCa owing to the significant side-effects associated with RT and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). The recommendations for salvage therapy differ depending on whether BCR occurs after RP or primary RT, and in either case, definitive evidence regarding the best strategy is lacking. Options for treatment of BCR after RP are RT at least to the prostatic bed, complete or intermittent ADT, or observation; for BCR after RT, salvage RP, cryotherapy, complete or intermittent ADT, brachytherapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), or observation can be considered. Many patient- and cancer-specific factors need to be taken into account when deciding on the best strategy, and optimal management depends on the involvement of a multidisciplinary team, consultation with the patient themselves, and the adoption of an individualised approach. Improvements in imaging techniques may enable earlier detection of metastases, which will hopefully refine future management decisions.

Urologia internationalis. 2017 Nov 21 [Epub ahead of print]

Walter Artibani, Antonio Benito Porcaro, Vincenzo De Marco, Maria A Cerruto, Salvatore Siracusano

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