Objectives. To review the efficacy of salvage radiotherapy (RT), to treat elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels for presumed local recurrence of prostatic adenocarcinoma after retropubic prostatectomy, and identify the factors that may predict for successful treatment. Methods. Fifty-one patients with hormonally naive pT2-3N0-1M0 prostate cancer were treated with RT for locally persistent or recurrent disease. The patients received a median dose of 65.7 Gy (range 61.2 to 72.3) to the prostate bed. Successfully treated patients had undetectable PSA levels; the endpoint of the study was biochemical failure. Results. The median follow-up was 3.8 years; 42 of 51 patients had at least 2 years of follow-up. Twenty-three patients (45%) were biochemically free of disease. The estimated biochemically free of disease rate at 3 and 5 years was 56% and 16%, respectively. Whether the patients were treated for persistently elevated PSA levels or for rising PSA levels from undetectable levels after retropubic prostatectomy, their PSA values were equally likely to drop to undetectable levels (65%). Univariate analysis demonstrated two factors that significantly predicted for successful salvage treatment: the absence of seminal vesicle invasion and the absence of lymphovascular invasion. A pretreatment PSA level less than 0.425 ng/mL trended toward statistical significance (P = 0.059). Only seminal vesicle invasion maintained significance on multivariate analysis. The RT was well tolerated, and the gastrointestinal and genitourinary toxicity was largely Radiation Therapy Oncology Group grade 1. Conclusions. Salvage RT is moderately effective in treating patients with locally persistent or recurrent prostate adenocarcinoma. Seminal vesicle invasion and lymphovascular invasion predicted for unsuccessful treatment.
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