Friday, February 19, 2016

Had a PSA test done as part of an employer-sponsored health screening.  Less than 0.1 as usual.

Now 10 years from diagnosis and surgery, nearly 9 years from salvage radiation (SRT).  PSA has been undetectable on the standard assay since September 2007.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Now 8 years out from end of salvage radiation, PSA still less than 0.1

Slowly approaching the "C" line on the asymptote. C as in cured.

A Johns Hopkins study showed that if you make it to 10 years with an undetectable PSA, your odds of having a recurrence in the next 10 years are 6%.  And if you're unlucky enough to be in that 6%, your odds of developing metastatic cancer in that second 10 year window are still very small, and dying of it practically zero.

So I'm setting my sights on the 10 year mark, in 2017.  I'll be 55.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My PSA remains less than 0.1.
It was 8 years ago now that I was going to the hospital every morning, Monday through Friday, and laying down while the invisible X-rays did their magic. It was hard to believe something was actually happening to the cancer cells deep inside. But it was!  It was!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Listening for the canary.

Had my annual PSA draw this morning.  It's been 8 years since I underwent salvage radiation (SRT) for a rising PSA after prostatectomy.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Latest Salvage Radiation News

A small study indicates PSA doubling time of 6 months or less is predictive of failure after SRT.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Latest Salvage Radiation News:

"For the study, 388 patients with pT3-4pN0 prostate cancer with positive or negative surgical margins were recruited. After RP, 307 men achieved an undetectable PSA (arms A + B). In 78 patients the PSA remained above thresholds (median 0.6, range 0.05-5.6 ng/mL). Of the latter, 74 consented to receive 66 Gy to the prostate bed, and SRT was applied at a median of 86 days after RP. Clinical relapse-free survival, metastasis-free survival, and overall survival were determined by the Kaplan-Meier method.RESULTS:
Patients with persisting PSA after RP had higher preoperative PSA values, higher tumor stages, higher Gleason scores, and more positive surgical margins than did patients in arms A + B. For the 74 patients, the 10-year clinical relapse-free survival rate was 63%. Forty-three men had hormone therapy; 12 experienced distant metastases; 23 patients died. Compared with men who did achieve an undetectable PSA, the arm-C patients fared significantly worse, with a 10-year metastasis-free survival of 67% versus 83% and overall survival of 68% versus 84%, respectively."

Friday, May 2, 2014

Latest Salvage Radiation News

Freie Universität Berlin (Wikimedia Commons)

Researchers in Germany have completed a followup study on 151 patients. The median followup time was 82 months.
They found a 55% recurrence rate in salvage radiation (SRT) patients. This confirms several other studies around the world that show in the long term, most salvage radiation patients will show at least biochemical recurrence. (In the short run, it's just the opposite) . However, the study also showed very few prostate cancer deaths during the followup period. And the study confirmed other research since 2004: pre-SRT PSA level is a critical factor in predicting the outcome of salvage radiation.  The lower your PSA at the time of salvage radiation, the better.  The takeaway? If you're considering salvage radiation, don't dally.

Lohm G, Lütcke J, Jamil B, Höcht S, Neumann K, Hinkelbein W, Wiegel T, Bottke
D. Salvage radiotherapy in patients with prostate cancer and biochemical relapse 
after radical prostatectomy : Long-term follow-up of a single-center survey.
Strahlenther Onkol. 2014 Feb 28. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24577132.