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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2003 Mar 15;55(4):986-91.

What to do for prostate cancer patients with a rising PSA?--A survey of Australian practice.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.



To document current Australian management of asymptomatic prostate cancer patients with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) relapse after radical treatment or considered unsuitable for radical treatment.


Four case scenarios-postprostatectomy PSA relapse, postradiotherapy (RT) with a slow or a rapidly rising PSA level, or no radical treatment-were presented. Management preferences, including (where relevant) RT, androgen ablation either immediate or delayed until a PSA rise or symptomatic progression, and other approaches, were identified. The preferred methods of androgen ablation were noted.


One hundred eighteen informative replies out of 324 e-mailed surveys were received. For postprostatectomy PSA relapse, 59% of respondents favored salvage RT. For post-RT with a slow or a rapidly rising PSA level and treatment of nonradical patients, there was no clear consensus of opinion, with respondents divided among the different options. A diverse range of PSA levels was cited for delayed intervention, with values ranging from 0.8 to 100 ng/mL. PSA doubling time proved a more consistent criterion for determining intervention. Most respondents favored the use of a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist as first-line androgen ablation, although patient choice was recognized as important in all decision making.


A lack of available evidence underlies the diversity of opinion regarding the management of asymptomatic prostate cancer patients with a rising PSA. The need for randomized controlled trials in this area is highlighted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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