Long-term prognostic significance of rising PSA levels following radiotherapy for localized prostate cancer - focus on overall survival

The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term prognostic significance of rising PSA levels, particularly focussing on overall survival.

Two hundred ninety-five patients with localized prostate cancer were either treated with low-dose-rate (LDR) brachytherapy with I-125 seeds as monotherapy (n = 94; 145Gy), high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy with Ir-192 as a boost to external beam RT (n = 66; 50. 4Gy in 1.8Gy fractions EBRT + 18Gy in 9Gy fractions HDR) or EBRT alone (70.2Gy in 1.8Gy fractions; n = 135). "PSA bounce" was defined as an increase of at least 0.2 ng/ml followed by spontaneous return to pre-bounce level or lower, biochemical failure was defined according to the Phoenix definition.

Median follow-up after the end of radiotherapy was 108 months. A PSA bounce showed to be a significant factor for biochemical control (BC) and overall survival (OS) after ten years (BC10 of 83% with bounce vs. 34% without, p < 0.01; OS10 of 82% with bounce vs. 59% without bounce, p < 0.01). The occurrence of a bounce, a high nadir and the therapy modality (LDR-BT vs. EBRT and HDR-BT + EBRT vs. EBRT) proved to be independent factors for PSA recurrence in multivariate Cox regression analysis. A bounce was detected significantly earlier than a PSA recurrence (median 20 months vs. 32 months after RT; p < 0.01; median PSA doubling time 5.5 vs. 5.0 months, not significant). PSA doubling time was prognostically significant in case of PSA recurrence (OS10 of 72% vs. 36% with PSA doubling time ˃ 5 months vs. ≤ 5 months; p < 0.01).

Rising PSA levels within the first two years can usually be classified as a benign PSA bounce, with favourable recurrence-free and overall survival rates. PSA doubling time is an important predictor for overall survival following the diagnosis of a recurrence.

Radiation oncology (London, England). 2017 Jun 14*** epublish ***

Carla Freiberger, Vanessa Berneking, Thomas-Alexander Vögeli, Ruth Kirschner-Hermanns, Michael J Eble, Michael Pinkawa

Department of Radiation Oncology, RWTH Aachen University, Pauwelsstrasse 30, 52072, Aachen, Germany., Department of Urology, RWTH Aachen University, Pauwelsstrasse 30, 52072, Aachen, Germany., Department of Urology/Neuro-Urology, Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn, Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25, 53105, Bonn, Germany., Department of Radiation Oncology, RWTH Aachen University, Pauwelsstrasse 30, 52072, Aachen, Germany. .

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