Prognostic significance of 5-year PSA value for predicting prostate cancer recurrence after brachytherapy alone and combined with hormonal therapy and/or external beam radiotherapy

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009 Jul 1;74(3):753-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2008.08.049. Epub 2008 Dec 10.


Purpose: To analyze the prognosis and outcomes of patients who remain free of biochemical failure during the first 5 years after treatment.

Methods and materials: Between 1991 and 2002, 742 patients with prostate cancer were treated with brachytherapy alone (n = 306), brachytherapy and hormonal therapy (n = 212), or combined implantation and external beam radiotherapy (with or without hormonal therapy; n = 224). These patients were free of biochemical failure (American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology [ASTRO] definition) during the first 5 post-treatment years and had a documented 5-year prostate-specific antigen (PSA) value. The median follow-up was 6.93 years.

Results: The actuarial 10-year freedom from PSA failure rate was 97% using the ASTRO definition and 95% using the Phoenix definition. The median 5-year PSA level was 0.03 ng/mL (range, 0-3.6). The 5-year PSA value was <or=0.01 in 47.7%, >0.01-0.10 in 31.1%, >0.10-0.2 in 10.2%, >0.2-0.5 in 7.82%, and >0.5 in 3.10%. The 5-year PSA value had prognostic significance, with a PSA value of <or=0.2 ng/mL (n = 661) corresponding to a 10-year freedom from PSA failure rate of 99% with the ASTRO definition and 98% with the Phoenix definition vs. 86% (ASTRO definition) and 81% (Phoenix definition) for a PSA value >or=0.2 ng/mL (n = 81; p < .0001). The treatment regimen had no effect on biochemical failure. None of the 742 patients in this study developed metastatic disease or died of prostate cancer.

Conclusion: The results of this study have shown that the prognosis for patients treated with brachytherapy and who remain biochemically free of disease for >or=5 years is excellent and none developed metastatic disease during the first 10 years after treatment. The 5-year PSA value is prognostic, and patients with a PSA value <0.2 ng/mL are unlikely to develop subsequent biochemical relapse.

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / blood
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis*
  • Prognosis
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Radiotherapy / methods
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Reference Values
  • Time Factors


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen