Integrating Prostate-specific Antigen Kinetics into Contemporary Predictive Nomograms of Salvage Radiotherapy After Radical Prostatectomy

Shauna R. Campbell, Martin C. Tom, Shree Agrawal, Jason A. Efstathiou, Jeff M. Michalski, Matthew C. Abramowitz, Alan Pollack, Daniel E. Spratt, Jason W.D. Hearn, Kevin L. Stephans, Tianming Gao, Jianbo Li, Rahul D. Tendulkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Salvage radiotherapy (SRT) is an established treatment for men with biochemical recurrence following radical prostatectomy (RP). There are several risk factors associated with adverse outcomes; however, the value of postoperative prostate-specific antigen (PSA) kinetics is less clear in the ultrasensitive PSA era. OBJECTIVE: To characterize the impact of PSA kinetics on outcomes following SRT and generate nomograms to aid in identifying patients with an increased risk of adverse clinical outcomes. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A multi-institutional analysis was conducted of 1005 patients with prostate cancer treated with SRT after RP, with a median follow-up of 5 years. OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Variables examined include immediate postoperative PSA, postoperative PSA doubling time (DT), and pre-SRT PSA, in addition to previously identified predictive factors. Multivariable survival analyses were completed using Fine-Gray competing risk regression. Rates of biochemical failure (BF), distant metastasis (DM), and prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM) were estimated by the cumulative incidence method. Nomograms were generated from multivariable competing risk regression with bootstrap cross-validation. RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: Factors associated with BF after SRT include PSA DT <6 mo, initial postoperative PSA ≥0.2 ng/ml, higher pre-SRT PSA, lack of androgen deprivation therapy, a higher Gleason score (GS), negative margins, seminal vesicle invasion, lack of pelvic nodal radiation, radiation total dose <66 Gy, a longer RP to SRT interval, and older age (p < 0.05 for each). Factors associated with DM include PSA DT <6 mo, pre-SRT PSA, a higher GS, and negative margins. Factors associated with PCSM include PSA DT not calculable or <6 mo and a higher GS. Nomograms were generated to estimate the risks of BF (concordance index [CI] 0.74), DM (CI 0.77), and PCSM (CI 0.77). Limitations include retrospective nature, broad treatment eras, institutional variations, and multiple methods available for the estimation of PSA DT. CONCLUSIONS: Postoperative PSA kinetics, particularly pre-SRT PSA and PSA DT, are strongly associated with adverse oncologic outcomes following SRT and should be considered in management decisions. PATIENT SUMMARY: In this report of men with prostate cancer who developed a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) recurrence after prostatectomy, we found that PSA levels after surgery and how quickly a PSA level doubles significantly impact the chance of prostate cancer recurrence after salvage radiation therapy. Based on this information, we created a tool to calculate a man's chance of cancer recurrence after salvage radiation therapy, and these estimations can be used to discuss whether additional treatment with radiation should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-313
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Urology Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • Nomogram
  • Postprostatectomy outcomes
  • Prostate-specific antigen doubling time
  • Prostate-specific antigen kinetics
  • Salvage radiation


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