Adjuvant and salvage radiotherapy after prostatectomy: AUA/ASTRO Guideline

J Urol. 2013 Aug;190(2):441-9. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2013.05.032. Epub 2013 May 21.


Purpose: The purpose of this guideline is to provide a clinical framework for the use of radiotherapy after radical prostatectomy as adjuvant or salvage therapy.

Materials and methods: A systematic literature review using the PubMed®, Embase, and Cochrane databases was conducted to identify peer-reviewed publications relevant to the use of radiotherapy after prostatectomy. The review yielded 294 articles; these publications were used to create the evidence-based guideline statements. Additional guidance is provided as Clinical Principles when insufficient evidence existed.

Results: Guideline statements are provided for patient counseling, the use of radiotherapy in the adjuvant and salvage contexts, defining biochemical recurrence, and conducting a re-staging evaluation.

Conclusions: Physicians should offer adjuvant radiotherapy to patients with adverse pathologic findings at prostatectomy (i.e., seminal vesicle invasion, positive surgical margins, extraprostatic extension) and should offer salvage radiotherapy to patients with prostatic specific antigen or local recurrence after prostatectomy in whom there is no evidence of distant metastatic disease. The offer of radiotherapy should be made in the context of a thoughtful discussion of possible short- and long-term side effects of radiotherapy as well as the potential benefits of preventing recurrence. The decision to administer radiotherapy should be made by the patient and the multi-disciplinary treatment team with full consideration of the patient's history, values, preferences, quality of life, and functional status. Please visit the ASTRO and AUA websites ( and to view this guideline in its entirety, including the full literature review.

Keywords: 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy; 3D-CRT; ADT; ARO; ART; ASTRO; AUA; American Society for Radiation Oncology; American Urological Association; Arbeitsgemeinschaft Radiologische Onkologie; CTCAE; EBRT; EORTC; EPE; European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer; GI; GU; IMRT; OS; PIVOT; PSA; Prostate Cancer Versus Observation Trial; QoL; RCT; RFS; RP; RT; RTOG; Radiation Therapy Oncology Group; SRT; SVI; SWOG; Southwest Oncology Group; adjuvant radiotherapy; androgen deprivation therapy; bRFS; biochemical recurrence-free survival; common toxicity criteria adverse event; external beam radiotherapy; extraprostatic extension; gastrointestinal; genitourinary; intensity-modulated radiotherapy; overall survival; postoperative period; prostate specific antigen; prostatectomy; prostatic neoplasms; quality of life; radical prostatectomy; radiotherapy; randomized controlled trial; recurrence-free survival; salvage radiotherapy; seminal vesicle invasion.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Prostatectomy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Salvage Therapy*