Aetiology and management of earlier vs later biochemical recurrence after retropubic radical prostatectomy.

To examine the characteristics and management of earlier (within 5 years) vs later (after 5 years) biochemical recurrence (BCR) after radical prostatectomy (RP).

Between October 2000 and October 2009, 1597 men underwent open retropubic RP. BCRs were managed using salvage radiation therapy (SRT), androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) or active surveillance (AS). BCR-free survival was assessed using Kaplan-Meier analysis. Factors predicting earlier or later BCR and BCR after SRT were assessed using logistic regression and Cox proportional hazard models, respectively.

The probabilities of developing BCR within 5 years and 10 years were 12.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] 10.7-13.9) and 18.4% (95% CI 16.2-20.6), respectively. On multivariate analysis, prostate-specific antigen doubling time, positive surgical margins and pathological Gleason score significantly differentiated earlier from later BCR. Overall, 74.5, 12.7 and 12.7% of men developing BCR underwent SRT, ADT or AS, respectively. A significantly greater proportion of men in the earlier BCR group underwent SRT (80.8 vs 59%) and ADT (14.6 vs 8.2%), and a significantly greater proportion of men in the later BCR group underwent AS (32.8 vs 4.6%; P<0.001). The response to SRT was independent of time to BCR. On multivariate analysis, clinical stage and pathological stage significantly predicted failure of SRT.

Approximately one third of BCRs occurred between 5 and 10 years after RP. The aetiology and management of BCR was dependent on time to BCR, whereas response to SRT was independent of time to recurrence. Long-term follow-up is mandatory beyond 5 years for all men after RP.

BJU international. 2017 Mar 14 [Epub]

Elton Llukani, Herbert Lepor

Department of Urology, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.