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J Clin Oncol. 2009 Dec 10;27(35):6000-5. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2009.23.6067. Epub 2009 Oct 26.

Evaluating the combined effect of comorbidity and prostate-specific antigen kinetics on the risk of death in men after prostate-specific antigen recurrence.

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Harvard Radiation Oncology Program, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.



We examined whether time-dependent continuous prostate-specific antigen (PSA) velocity at recurrence was associated with all cause mortality (ACM) adjusting for comorbidity levels among men treated with definitive radiation therapy (RT) alone with or without androgen suppression therapy (AST) in the setting of a randomized controlled trial.


From 1995 to 2001, 206 men with localized, unfavorable prostate cancer were randomly assigned to receive RT alone or RT and AST combined. Cox multivariate regression analysis was performed to evaluate the relationship between PSA velocity at recurrence and ACM, adjusting for known prostate cancer prognostic factors, including Adult Comorbidity Evaluation 27 comorbidity level.


With a median follow-up of 8.4 years, 89 biochemical recurrences and 74 ACM deaths occurred. Among all patients, higher PSA velocity was associated with increased ACM (hazard ratio [HR], 1.47; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.44; P < .001) after adjusting for age, treatment arm, comorbidity score, and salvage AST. For 89 patients with biochemical recurrence, increasing PSA velocity at recurrence (HR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.23 to 2.09; P < or = .001) and moderate to severe comorbidity score (HR, 7.94; 95% CI, 1.55 to 40.52; P = .01) were associated with increased ACM. PSA velocity at recurrence was associated with significantly higher risk of ACM among patients with no or minimal comorbidity (P < .001), but not moderate to severe comorbidity (P = .12).


Rapid PSA velocity at recurrence is significantly associated with an increased risk of ACM among patients with no or minimal comorbidity but not moderate to severe comorbidity. These findings support judicious use of salvage AST, particularly in men with moderate to severe comorbidities, where prospective surveillance protocols are needed.

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