Early salvage radiotherapy following radical prostatectomy

David Pfister, Michel Bolla, Alberto Briganti, Peter Carroll, Cesare Cozzarini, Steven Joniau, Hein Van Poppel, Mack Roach, Andrew Stephenson, Thomas Wiegel, Michael J. Zelefsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context Depending on the pathologic tumour stage, up to 60% of prostate cancer patients who undergo radical prostatectomy will develop biochemical relapse and require further local treatment. Objectives We reviewed the results of early salvage radiation therapy (RT), defined as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) values prior to RT <0.5 ng/ml in the setting of lymph node-negative disease. Evidence acquisition Ten retrospective studies, including one multicentre analysis, were used for this analysis. Among them, we received previously unpublished patient characteristics and updated outcome data from five retrospective single-centre trials to perform a subgroup analysis for early salvage RT. Evidence synthesis Patients treated with early salvage RT have a significantly improved biochemical recurrence-free survival (BRFS) rate compared with those receiving salvage RT initiated after PSA values are >0.5 ng/ml. Similarly, within the cohort of patients with pre-RT PSA values 0.5 ng/ml. Whether the routine application of early salvage RT in patients with initially undetectable PSA levels will be associated with demonstrable clinical benefit awaits the results of ongoing prospective trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1034-1043
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Biochemical recurrence-free survival
  • Early salvage radiotherapy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Medicine(all)


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