Initiation of salvage therapy for prostate cancer

P. A.S. Johnstone, R. Booth, R. H. Riffenburgh, C. L. Amling, C. J. Kane, J. W. Moul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Physicians and patients have variable and individual levels of comfort regarding when to begin salvage therapy for rising prostate specific antigen (PSA) after definitive treatment of prostate cancer. The decision to start salvage therapy is a multifactorial process for which few rigorous data or guidelines exist. A questionnaire survey of urologists of the Department of Defense (DoD) Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR) was undertaken to obtain current perspectives on when to begin salvage therapy for biochemical failure after definitive therapy. Variables of age, grade, T-stage, nodal status, performance status, latency since prior therapy, PSA velocity, and ploidy were prioritized in four clinical situations; subsequent questions assessed consensus PSA cut-offs for beginning adjuvant therapy in 84 clinical scenarios. Consensus on PSA cut-off points was limited to postoperative radiotherapy (RT), where values of 1.0-1.5 were the mean cut-off points. CPDR urologists consider salvage prostatectomy post-RT only for patients < 70-y-old with node negative, grade 2-7 disease and excellent performance status. Ploidy was not generally considered useful in any scenario. Many variables in addition to PSA level are involved in the decision of when to commence adjuvant therapy for initial biochemical failure. These are strikingly interdependent, and few clear absolutes are evident from this questionnaire. This is a point of necessary further research and continued discussion among physicians caring for these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-143
Number of pages8
JournalProstate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Follow-up care
  • Prostatic neoplasma
  • Salvage therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology
  • Cancer Research


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