Radiotherapy after prostatectomy

Giuseppe Sanguineti, Paola Franzone, Laura Culp, Michela Marcenaro, Salvina Barra, Vito Vitale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and background: The role of radiotherapy after prostatectomy is controversial. This paper tries to give some guidelines for everyday practice through an analysis of literature data. Methods: The potential role of radiotherapy in the adjuvant and salvage setting is discussed. We also report and interpret available literature data for both settings. Results: As regards an increase in or detectable prostate-specific antigen (PSA) after radical prostatectomy, about 40-50% of patients are rendered bNED with local salvage radiotherapy, but only 10-50% are long-term (5 years) biochemically controlled. A timely salvage treatment is crucial to optimize control probability. As regards adjuvant radiotherapy for undetectable postoperative PSA in patients at high risk of failure as judged on pathology, results are more encouraging. Recent data report bNED rates ≥70% at 5 years. Conclusions: Although results are far from satisfactory, salvage radiotherapy should be considered for every patient with an increased or detectable PSA after surgery. Adjuvant radiotherapy seems preferable to salvage radiotherapy for patients at high (>30%) risk of failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-452
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2002


  • Adjuvant radiotherapy
  • Prostate carcinoma
  • Prostatectomy
  • Salvage radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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