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Comparison of biochemical failure rates between permanent prostate brachytherapy and radical retropubic prostatectomy as a function of posttherapy PSA nadir plus 'X'.

Ahmed KA, Davis BJ, Mynderse LA, Slezak JM, Bergstralh EJ, Wilson TM, Choo CR.

Comment from Henk van der Poel: At a definition of recurrence at nadir+2ng/ml brachytherapy was similarly effective as prostatectomy, whereas prostatectomy outperformed brachytherapy at lower PSA recurrence definitions. The definition of biochemical recurrence after brachytherapy needs further study.

Radiat Oncol. 2014 Jul 29;9:171

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) nadir + 2 ng/mL, also known as the Phoenix definition, is the definition most commonly used to establish biochemical failure (BF) after external beam radiotherapy for prostate cancer management. The purpose of this study is to compare BF rates between permanent prostate brachytherapy (PPB) and radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) as a function of PSA nadir plus varying values of X and examine the associated implications.

METHODS AND MATERIALS:

We retrospectively searched for patients who underwent PPB or RRP at our institution between 1998 and 2004. Only primary patients not receiving androgen-deprivation therapy were included in the study. Three RRP patients were matched to each PPB patient on the basis of prognostic factors. BF rates were estimated for PSA nadirs + different values of X.

RESULTS:

A total of 1,164 patients were used for analysis: 873 in the RRP group and 291 in the PPB group. Patients were equally matched by clinical stage, biopsy Gleason sum, primary Gleason grade, and pretherapy PSA value. Median follow-up was 3.1 years for RRP patients and 3.6 years in the PPB group (P = .01). Using PSA nadir + 0.1 ng/mL for the definition of BF, the 5-year BF rate was 16.3% for PPB patients and 13.5% for RRP patients (P = .007), whereas at nadir + 2 ng/mL or greater, the BF rates were less than 3% and were indistinguishable between PPB and RRP patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

In a cohort of well-matched patients who had prostatectomy or brachytherapy, we examined BF as a function of nadir + X, where X was treated as a continuous variable. As X increases from 0.1 to 2.0 ng/mL, the BF curves converge, and above 2.0 ng/mL they are essentially indistinguishable. The data presented are of interest as BF definitions continue to evolve.

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