Nonsurgical Salvage Local Therapies for Radiorecurrent Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Eur Urol Oncol. 2020 Apr;3(2):183-197. doi: 10.1016/j.euo.2018.12.011. Epub 2019 Jan 24.


Context: Different nonsurgical therapeutic strategies can be adopted for intraprostatic relapse of prostate cancer after primary radiotherapy, including re-irradiation (with brachytherapy [BT] or external beam radiotherapy [EBRT]), high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), and cryotherapy. The main issues to consider when choosing nonsurgical salvage local therapies are local tumor control and significant genitourinary toxicity.

Objective: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of the role of nonsurgical salvage modalities in patients with radiorecurrent prostate cancer and associated clinical outcomes and toxicity profiles.

Evidence acquisition: We performed a critical review of the Medline, Scopus, and ClinicalKey databases from January 1, 2000 through February 1, 2018 according to the Preferred Reporting Items and Meta-Analyses statement. To assess the overall quality of the literature reviewed, we used a modified Delphi tool for case-series studies.

Evidence synthesis: A total of 64 case-series studies were included, corresponding to a cohort of 5585 patients. The modified Delphi checklist evidenced high methodological quality overall (mean quality score of 80.6%). Biochemical control rates were lowest for patients treated with HIFU (58%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 47-68%) and highest for patients treated with BT (69%, 95% CI 62-76%) and EBRT (69%, 95% CI 53-83%). The lowest prevalence of incontinence was for patients treated with BT (3%, 95% CI 0-6%; I2=63.4%) and the highest was among patients treated with HIFU (28%, 95% CI 19-38%; I2=89.7%).

Conclusions: Nonsurgical therapeutic options, especially BT, showed good outcomes in terms of biochemical control and tolerability in the local recurrence setting.

Patient summary: The current analysis demonstrated that nonsurgical salvage local therapies offer a chance of a curative local approach in radiorecurrent prostate cancer. However, high-quality data from prospective trials are needed to validate long-term outcomes from nonsurgical strategies for the treatment of intraprostatic recurrence after previous radiotherapy.

Keywords: Radiorecurrent prostate cancer; Salvage therapies.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Salvage Therapy / methods*