It is commonly believed that prostate cancer patients with very high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels are unlikely to benefit from definitive local treatment, and patients with very high PSA are often underrepresented in, or excluded from, randomized clinical trials. Consequently, little is known about their optimal treatment or prognosis. We performed a registry-based analysis of management and outcome in this population of patients.
Our provincial Cancer Registry was used to identify all men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer from 1990 to 2001. A retrospective chart review provided information on stage, Gleason score, PSA at diagnosis, and treatment. In this study, ultra-high PSA was defined as PSA of = 50 ng/ml. For a more complete perspective, treatment outcomes of patients with PSA of 20 to 49.9 ng/ml were also studied.
Of the 8378 men diagnosed with prostate cancer during this period, 6,449 had no known nodal or distant metastatic disease. The median follow-up of this group was 67.2 months (range, 0-192 months). A total of 1534 patients had PSA of = 20 ng/ml. Among the 995 patients with PSA 20 to 49.9 ng/ml, 85 had radical prostatectomy (RP), and their 5- and 10-year cause-specific survivals (CSS) were 95% and 84%, respectively. The 497 patients treated with radiotherapy (RT) had 5- and 10-year CSS of 92% and 71%. For the 332 patients with PSA 50-99.9 ng/ml, RT was associated with 5- and 10-year CSS of 81% and 55%. For the 207 patients with PSA of = 100 ng/ml, RT was associated with 5- and 10-year CSS of 80% and 54%.
This is the largest series in the world on non metastatic cancer patients with ultra-high PSA at diagnosis. Even in the setting of a very high presenting PSA level, prostatectomy and radiotherapy are often associated with prolonged survival.