Biochemical recurrence after definitive prostate cancer therapy. Part II: treatment strategies for biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Through the prostate-specific antigen era, the proportion of men less than 55 years old with newly diagnosed prostate cancer more than doubled to almost 15%. As increasing numbers of men are living longer with prostate cancer, larger proportions will eventually present to our collective practices with rising prostate-specific antigen levels. Such prostate-specific antigen relapses, conservatively estimated to affect approximately 50 000 men each year, have become the most common form of advanced prostate cancer in the current period. RECENT FINDINGS: Increasing evidence suggests that early hormonal therapy improves progression-free survival and may alter the cancer-specific survival. However, there is a cost to pay in side-effects when androgen deprivation is administered over prolonged periods. The non-steroidal anti-androgen bicalutamide may offer an equivalent progression-free survival to castration without the complications of androgen deprivation. Observational data seem to indicate that high-risk individuals (i.e. those with high-grade, high-stage disease or a prostate-specific antigen doubling time less than 12 months) may also receive benefit from early therapy. SUMMARY: The definition of advanced prostate cancer has changed. Multimodal therapy improves cancer-specific outcomes especially in men with high-risk disease. The potential opportunities for novel therapeutic agents with low associated morbidity are great.
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