Purpose: We evaluated whether the proportion of patients with a postoperative PSA-DT less than 3 months, a surrogate for PCSM, decreased significantly during the PSA era.
Materials and methods: Between July 1988 and July 2002, 3,719 men with clinically localized prostate cancer treated with RP comprised the study cohort. A chi-square metric was used to compare the preoperative and postoperative characteristics, 5-year actual PSA failure rates, and PSA-DTs for patients treated during the 2 equally divided eras of the early PSA era, July 1988 to July 1995 and the late PSA era, August 1995 to July 2002.
Results: Patients presenting in the more recent PSA era were of younger age (p < 0.0001), with earlier stage (p < 0.0001) and lower grade disease (p = 0.01). Similarly, patients had lower grade (p < 0.001), stage (p < 0.0001), and positive margin (p < 0.0001) and lymph node rates (p = 0.0002) at RP. The 5-year actual PSA failure rates decreased from 14.3% in the early PSA era to 2.5% in the later PSA era (p < 0.0001). There was a 37% reduction in the proportion of patients with a PSA-DT less than 3 months, corresponding to a decrease in absolute magnitude from 9% to 5.7% between the 2 eras. Absolute reductions of 3.1% and 9% were also noted for the proportion of PSA-DTs of 3 to 5.99 months and 6 to 11.99 months, respectively, whereas PSA-DTs of 12 months or greater increased by 15.3%.
Conclusions: During the recent PSA era, postoperative PSA failure has significantly decreased and PSA-DTs have increased, suggesting that PCSM will continue to decrease.