Public Release: 

Speed of PSA rise helps predict survival for prostate cancer patients

American Society for Radiation Oncology

The clinical outcome for prostate cancer patients who have been treated with hormone therapy and radiation therapy can usually be determined by how rapidly their prostate specific antigen level rises following treatment, according to a report published in the October 1, 2005 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of ASTRO.

Doctors at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston studied 621 men with prostate cancer treated with hormone and radiation therapy between 1989 and 2003 to determine whether clinical failure after their treatment correlated with the speed at which their post treatment PSA level rose. Clinical failure was defined as cancer recurring in the prostate or spreading to other parts of the body.

Researchers found that measuring how quickly the PSA level doubled was a good indicator of subsequent poor clinical outcomes, including cancer developing in other parts of the body or death related to prostate cancer.

Patients whose PSA level doubled within eight months after treatment failure were more likely to have the cancer return or spread to other parts of the body than patients whose PSA did not double in eight months or less. The estimated five-year rate of clinical failure for patients with a PSA doubling time of more than eight months was only 9.4 percent while 60.4 percent of patients whose PSA doubling time was less than or equal to eight months could expect some type of clinical failure.

"The PSA doubling time is an important indicator of how well a patient will recover from prostate cancer," said Andrew K. Lee, M.D., lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "Although clinical outcomes may be positively affected if the patient receives hormone therapy with radiation therapy, a quickly rising PSA level unfortunately still portends poor results for these patients."


For more information on radiation therapy for prostate cancer, please visit

To arrange an interview with Dr. Lee or for a copy of "Prostate-Specific Antigen Doubling Time Predicts Clinical Outcome and Survival in Prostate Cancer Patients Treated with Combined Radiation and Hormone Therapy," please contact Nick Lashinsky at or 1-800-962-7876.

Media interested in registering for ASTRO's 47th Annual Meeting, scheduled for October 16-20, 2005, in Denver should visit or call 1-800-962-7876.

ASTRO is the largest radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 8,000 members who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As a leading organization in radiation oncology, biology and physics, the Society is dedicated to the advancement of the practice of radiation oncology by promoting excellence in patient care, providing opportunities for educational and professional development, promoting research and disseminating research results and representing radiation oncology in a rapidly evolving socioeconomic healthcare environment.

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