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.
- Postprostatectomy outcomes
- Prostate-specific antigen doubling time
- Prostate-specific antigen kinetics
- Salvage radiation