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Indian J Urol. 2019 Jan-Mar;35(1):6-17. doi: 10.4103/iju.IJU_355_18.

Biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy: Current status of its use as a treatment endpoint and early management strategies.

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Department of Urology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.
Division of Urology, The University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, Houston, TX, USA.


Prostate cancer is one of the most common urological malignancies managed by a practicing urologist. Treatment strategies are varied, but radical prostatectomy (RP) remains a viable and commonly used option for many patients. A continuing challenge in the management is how to approach a patient who has biochemical recurrence (BCR) after RP. There are no consensus guidelines on the appropriate strategy, and the current recommendations, although useful, are at times confusing. The natural history of BCR is heterogeneous. Published studies aid in the clinician's ability to predict patients most likely to recur; however, this remains inexact. In addition, recent changes in the recommendations for disease screening, as well as technological advances, have added to the already challenging task of the clinician. The objective of this review is to provide an up-to-date summary of the definitions, diagnosis, and management strategies of BCR after RP. This narrative review was conducted by searching Medline for all relevant articles in English with the key terms of biochemical recurrence, prostate cancer, management, and other relevant terms. Information was compiled and reviewed for relevance to the article. Consideration was given to all articles with sufficient evidence including systematic review, retrospective studies, and clinical trials.

Conflict of interest statement

Dr. Davis has funded research with GenomeDx and their Decipher product which is discussed in this review.

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