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Salvage therapy for locally recurrent prostate cancer after radiation
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Dec  2012 (Vol.  19, Issue  6, Pages( 6534 - 6541)
PMID: 23228288


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    External beam radiotherapy (EBRT) is widely utilized as primary therapy for clinically localized prostate cancer. For patients who develop locally recurrent disease after EBRT, local salvage therapy may be indicated. The primary modalities for local salvage treatment in this setting include radical prostatectomy, cryotherapy, and brachytherapy. To date, there is little data describing outcomes and toxicity associated with each of these salvage modalities.


    A review of the literature was performed to identify studies of local salvage therapy for patients who had failed primary EBRT for localized prostate cancer. We focused on prospective trials and multi-institutional retrospective series in order to identify the highest level of evidence describing these therapies.


    The majority of reports describing the use of local salvage treatment for recurrent prostate cancer after EBRT are single-institution, retrospective reports, although small prospective studies are available for salvage cryotherapy and salvage brachytherapy. Clinical outcomes and toxicity for each modality vary widely across studies, which is likely due to the heterogeneity of patient populations, treatment techniques, and definitions of failure. In general, most studies demonstrate that local salvage therapy after EBRT may provide long-term local control in appropriately selected patients, although toxicity is often significant.


    As there are no randomized trials comparing salvage treatment modalities for localized prostate cancer recurrence after EBRT, the selection of a local treatment modality should be made on a patient-by-patient basis, with careful consideration of each patient's disease characteristics and tolerance for the risks of treatment. Additional data, ideally from prospective randomized trials, is needed to guide decision making for patients with local recurrence after EBRT failure.