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Curr Opin Urol. 2005 May;15(3):187-95.

Biochemical recurrence after definitive prostate cancer therapy. Part II: treatment strategies for biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer.

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Center for Prostate Disease Research, Department of Surgery, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.



Through the prostate-specific antigen era, the proportion of men less than 55 years old with newly diagnosed prostate cancer more than doubled to almost 15%. As increasing numbers of men are living longer with prostate cancer, larger proportions will eventually present to our collective practices with rising prostate-specific antigen levels. Such prostate-specific antigen relapses, conservatively estimated to affect approximately 50 000 men each year, have become the most common form of advanced prostate cancer in the current period.


Increasing evidence suggests that early hormonal therapy improves progression-free survival and may alter the cancer-specific survival. However, there is a cost to pay in side-effects when androgen deprivation is administered over prolonged periods. The non-steroidal anti-androgen bicalutamide may offer an equivalent progression-free survival to castration without the complications of androgen deprivation. Observational data seem to indicate that high-risk individuals (i.e. those with high-grade, high-stage disease or a prostate-specific antigen doubling time less than 12 months) may also receive benefit from early therapy.


The definition of advanced prostate cancer has changed. Multimodal therapy improves cancer-specific outcomes especially in men with high-risk disease. The potential opportunities for novel therapeutic agents with low associated morbidity are great.

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