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Urologe A. 2006 Apr;45(4):474-81.

[Functional and oncological outcome of salvage prostatectomy of locally recurrent prostate cancer following radiation therapy].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Sektion für Urologische Onkologie, Klinik und Poliklinik für Urologie, Universität Köln. axel.heidenreich@uk-koeln.de



Although technically challenging, salvage radical prostatectomy (SRP) for radiorecurrent prostate cancer (PCA) is an effective option in carefully selected patients and offers the chance for cure and long-term survival. Sometimes local progression of PCA with subvesical obstruction following radiation therapy requires radical cystoprostatectomy or bladder-preserving urinary diversion. We present our experience with salvage radical prostatectomy in a group of 28 consecutive patients.


Between January 2003 and August 2005, 25 patients underwent radical salvage surgery for locally recurrent PCA following external beam radiation (n=14), high-dose brachytherapy (n=8), and low-dose brachytherapy (n=6). All men had biopsy-proved recurrent or persistent PCA associated with PSA progression following radiation therapy. Preoperative imaging studies included bone scintigraphy and computed tomography without evidence of metastatic disease. Of the 28 men, 11 (39%) presented with bothersome irritative voiding dysfunction and rectal discomfort. Life expectancy was >10 years in all cases. We analyzed preoperative symptoms, treatment-associated morbidity, pathohistological findings, and functional and oncological outcome after a mean follow-up of 12.5 (2-29) months.


SRP was performed in all cases without significant intra- and perioperative complications: no rectal lacerations or ureteral lesions were encountered and mean blood loss was 520 (200-950) ml. A total of 21 (75%) men underwent SRP: in 4 cases radical cystoprostatectomy was necessary due to bladder neck infiltration and in 3 men SRP with bladder neck closure and continent appendicovesicostomy was performed due to preexisting urinary stress incontinence. All men with subvesical obstruction experienced significant relief of urgency and significant irritative voiding dysfunction following radical salvage surgery. Pathohistological analysis of the prostatectomy specimen revealed pT1-2b PCA in 19 (67.8%), pT3a/b PCA in 5 (17.8%), and lymph node metastasis or positive surgical margins in 7% of the patients. Two patients demonstrated a pT0 despite positive preoperative biopsies, and 20% demonstrated a Gleason score 8-10. With regard to functional outcome, 25% of the men need 2-3 pads daily whereas 78% of the men are continent. After a mean follow-up of 12.5 (2-29) months, two patients with pT3b and pN1 status exhibit a PSA relapse.


Salvage RP or RCx is a technically challenging but feasible surgical approach with curative intent for the treatment of locally recurrent PCA in well selected patients preventing significant local complications such as subvesical obstruction, ureteral obstruction, hematuria, and rectal infiltration. Surgery-associated morbidity and complications are low and not comparable to earlier series. The indication for salvage RP requires positive biopsy and negative imaging studies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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