ATLANTA—Early biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy (RP) has no effect on survival among patients with low-risk prostate cancer (PCa), according to a study presented at the American Urological Association 2012 annual meeting.

The study, by Anthony Ta, MD, of the University of Melbourne in Australia, included 2,116 men who under RP and had follow-up PSA data available. The median follow-up after RP and biochemical recurrence (BCR) was 10.3 and 7.5 years, respectively. During follow-up, 695 men (32.8%) experienced BCR; of these, BCR occurred in 82% within five years, 16% between five and 10 years, and 2% more than 10 years post-RP. Of the 2,116 patients, 81 (3.8%) died from PCa.

Sixty-six patients (9.5%) died from BCR. These patients were more likely to have higher Gleason scores and tumor stage compared with men surviving with BCR, according to the investigators.

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Among men with low-risk cancer, those who had BCR at two years had the same mortality rate as patients who had BCR at five years (0.04 and 0.04 deaths per 10 person-years, respectively).

Furthermore, men with low-risk PCa had a low risk of cancer-specific mortality regardless of the interval from RP to BCR.

Study findings confirm that men with favorable PCa tumor characteristics have low mortality from PCa when treated with surgery, the researchers concluded. “Their risk remains low even if they experience early biochemical recurrence,” they wrote in a poster presentation.