Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Bounce After Dose-Escalated External Beam Radiation Therapy Is an Independent Predictor of PSA Recurrence, Metastasis, and Survival in Prostate Adenocarcinoma Patients

Published:October 13, 2017DOI:


      To evaluate the difference in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) recurrence–free, distant metastasis–free, overall, and cancer-specific survival between PSA bounce (PSA-B) and non-bounce patients treated with dose-escalated external beam radiation therapy (DE-EBRT).

      Methods and Materials

      During 1990-2010, 1898 prostate adenocarcinoma patients were treated with DE-EBRT to ≥75 Gy with ≥5 years follow-up. Patients receiving neoadjuvant/concurrent androgen-deprivation therapy (n=1035) or with fewer than 4 PSA values obtained 6 months or more after post-EBRT completion (n=87) were excluded. The evaluable 776 patients were treated (median, 81.0 Gy). Prostate-specific antigen bounce was defined as a ≥0.2-ng/mL increase above the interval PSA nadir, followed by a decrease to nadir or below. Prostate-specific antigen relapse was defined as post–radiation therapy PSA nadir + 2 ng/mL. Median follow-up was 9.2 years (interquartile range, 6.9-11.3 years).


      One hundred twenty-three patients (15.9%) experienced PSA-B after DE-EBRT at a median of 24.6 months (interquartile range, 16.1-38.5 months). On multivariate analysis, younger age (P=.001), lower Gleason score (P=.0003), and higher radiation therapy dose (P=.0002) independently predicted PSA-B. Prostate-specific antigen bounce was independently associated with decreased risk for PSA relapse (hazard ratio [HR] 0.53; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.33-0.85; P=.008), distant metastatic disease (HR 0.34; 95% CI 0.12-0.94; P=.04), and all-cause mortality (HR 0.53; 95% CI 0.29-0.96; P=.04) on multivariate Cox analysis. Because all 50 prostate cancer–specific deaths in patients without PSA-B were in the non-bounce cohort, competing-risks analysis was not applicable. A nonparametric competing-risks test demonstrated that patients with PSA-B had superior cancer-specific survival compared with patients without PSA-B (P=.004).


      Patients treated with dose-escalated radiation therapy for prostate adenocarcinoma who experience posttreatment PSA-B have improved PSA recurrence-free survival, distant metastasis–free survival, overall survival, and cancer-specific survival outcomes.
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