Effect of higher radiation dose on biochemical control after radical prostatectomy for pT3N0 prostate cancer

Richard K Valicenti, Leonard G. Gomella, Mohammed Ismail, S. Grant Mulholland, Robert O. Petersen, Benjamin W. Corn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Purpose: The appropriate radiation dose has not been determined for postoperative radiation therapy (RT) of prostate cancer. Postoperative PSA level is a useful marker of local residual disease, and may allow evaluation of RT dose-response after radical prostatectomy. Methods and Materials: Between 1989 and 1996, 86 consecutive patients with pT3N0 prostate cancer who did not receive prior hormonal therapy or chemotherapy were irradiated postoperatively. All patients received 55.8 to 70.2 Gy (median = 64.8 Gy) to the prostatic/seminal vesicle bed. Patients were judged to be free of biochemical failure (bNED) if their PSA remained undetectable or decreased to undetectable level (< 0.2 ng/ml). The median follow-up time was 32 months from time of irradiation. Results: Univariate and multivariate analyses of variables showed that the preRT PSA level was the most significant predictor of improved bNED survival (p < 0.001). Actuarial analyses of radiation dose grouped with preRT PSA levels found higher radiation dose to be significant (p < 0.05). For the 52 patients with an undetectable preRT PSA level, the 3- year bNED rate was 91% for patients irradiated to 61.5 Gy or more and 57% for those irradiated to lower doses (p = 0.01). For the 21 patients with preRT PSA level > 0.2 and ≤ 2.0 ng/ml, the 3-year bNED rate was 79% for patients irradiated to 64.8 Gy or more and 33% for those irradiated to a lower dose (p = 0.02). No other preRT PSA interval or radiation dose level was associated with a dose-response function. Conclusion: In patients with pT3N0 prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy, a radiation dose-response function may be present and depends on the preRT PSA value. Patients with high postoperative PSA levels (> 2.0 ng/ml) may be less likely to benefit from higher doses of RT, and should be considered a group for which systemic therapy should be tested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-506
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Prostate cancer
  • Radiation dose
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radical prostatectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation


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