Journal of Radiation Oncology

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 171–175 | Cite as

Changes in prostate-specific antigen midway through salvage radiotherapy may be associated with long-term outcomes

  • Jason M. Homza
  • John T. Nawrocki
  • Harmar D. Brereton
  • Christopher A. PetersEmail author
Original Research



To examine the relationship between changes in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) by midpoint of salvage radiotherapy (SRT) for biochemically recurrent prostate cancer and long-term clinical outcomes.


We conducted a retrospective study of men treated with SRT for biochemically recurrent prostate cancer at a single practice from 2004 to 2016. Patients were grouped based on PSA response at treatment midpoint: group 0, no change; group 1, decrease; group 2, increase. The primary endpoint was clinical failure measured from time of SRT completion and defined as serum PSA ≥ 0.2 ng/mL above post-radiotherapy nadir, initiation of androgen deprivation therapy, development of bone metastasis, or death from prostate cancer. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate freedom from clinical failure for each group, and differences between groups were examined using pairwise multiple comparison.


Median follow-up was 51.6 months (range, 3.3–138.0). Of 76 eligible men, 13.1% experienced no change in PSA at midpoint of SRT (group 0), 68.4% experienced a decrease (group 1), and 18.4% experienced an increase (group 2). Four-year freedom from clinical failure rates were as follows: group 0, 60.0%; group 1, 58.3%; and group 2, 41.7%. Median time to clinical failure was 71.7 months (95% confidence interval, 46.9–96.5) for group 1; 26.8 months (95% confidence interval, 0.0–55.9) for group 2; and was not reached for group 0. There was a significant difference in four-year freedom from clinical failure between groups 1 and 2 (p = 0.036).


PSA changes by the midpoint of SRT predict long-term prostate cancer control with increases in PSA associated with decreased freedom from disease progression.


Prostate cancer Salvage radiation therapy Biochemical recurrence Prostate-specific antigen PSA 



We thank Madhava Baikadi, M.D.; Thomas Churilla, M.D.; Meghan Haggerty, M.D.; Leah Nawrocki, RN, MSN; Mushfiq Tarafder, Ph.D., MPH, MBBS; Jim Walker; and the nurses and staff of Northeast Radiation Oncology Center for providing support for the study.

Compliance with ethical standards


No funding was received for this study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason M. Homza
    • 1
  • John T. Nawrocki
    • 1
  • Harmar D. Brereton
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christopher A. Peters
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Geisinger Commonwealth School of MedicineScrantonUSA
  2. 2.Northeast Radiation Oncology CenterDunmoreUSA

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