Salvage radical prostatectomy (SP) is an effective treatment for prostate cancer patients who experience local failure following radiotherapy, according to researchers.

James A. Eastham, MD, and colleagues at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City studied 146 patients who underwent SP for biopsy-proven local recurrence of prostate cancer. Following SP, biochemical recurrence—defined as a serum PSA level of 0.2 ng/mL or higher or the initiation of androgen deprivation therapy—occurred in 65 patients.

The median follow-up period for recurrence-free patients was 3.8 years; 43 patients were followed for more than five years. The five-year recurrence-free probability was 54%, the researchers reported in European Urology (2009;55:404-411).

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Only one patient experienced clinical local recurrence. Overall, there were 16 prostate cancer-specific deaths and 19 deaths from other causes. The five-year cumulative incidence of death from prostate cancer was 4%.

“SP provides excellent local cancer control, with only one patient in our series experiencing a clinical local recurrence, as well as excellent cancer-specific survival,” the authors concluded.