Time to PSA rise differentiates the PSA bounce after HDR and LDR brachytherapy of prostate cancer

To investigate the differences in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) bounce (PB) after high-dose-rate (HDR-BT) or low-dose-rate (LDR-BT) brachytherapy alone in prostate cancer patients.

Ninety-four patients with localized prostate cancer (T1-T2cN0), age ranged 50-81 years, were treated with brachytherapy alone between 2008 and 2010. Patients were diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, Gleason score ≤ 7. The LDR-BT total dose was 144-145 Gy, in HDR-BT - 3 fractions of 10.5 or 15 Gy. The initial PSA level (iPSA) was assessed before treatment, then PSA was rated every 3 months over the first 2 years, and every 6 months during the next 3 years. Median follow-up was 3.0 years.

Mean iPSA was 7.8 ng/ml. In 58 cases, PSA decreased gradually without PB or biochemical failure (BF). In 24% of patients, PB was observed. In 23 cases (24%), PB was observed using 0.2 ng/ml definition; in 10 cases (11%), BF was diagnosed using nadir + 2 ng/ml definition. The HDR-BT and LDR-BT techniques were not associated with higher level of PB (26 vs. 22%,p= 0.497). Time to the first PSA rise finished with PB was significantly shorter after HDR-BT then after LDR-BT (median, 10.5 vs. 18.0 months) during follow-up. Predictors for PB were observed only after HDR-BT. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and higher Gleason score decreased the risk of PB (HR = 0.11,p= 0.03; HR = 0.51,p= 0.01). The higher PSA nadir and longer time to PSA nadir increased the risk of PB (HR 3.46,p= 0.02; HR 1.04,p= 0.04). There was no predictors for PB after LDR-BT.

HDR-BT and LDR-BT for low and intermediate risk prostate cancer had similar PB rate. The PB occurred earlier after HDR-BT than after LDR-BT. ADT and higher Gleason score decreased, and higher PSA nadir and longer time to PSA nadir increased the risk of PB after HDR-BT.

Journal of contemporary brachytherapy. 2018 Feb 26 [Epub]

Wojciech Burchardt, Janusz Skowronek

Brachytherapy Department, Greater Poland Cancer Centre.