Sokoll LJ, Zhang Z, Chan DW, Reese AC, Bivalacqua TJ, Partin AW, Walsh PC
Journal of Urology
In this study we evaluate an ultrasensitive prostate specific antigen assay in patients with prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy to predict long-term biochemical recurrence-free survival.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 754 men who underwent radical prostatectomy and had an undetectable prostate specific antigen after surgery (less than 0.1 ng/ml) were studied. Prostate specific antigen was measured in banked serum specimens with an ultrasensitive assay (Hybritech® PSA, Beckman Coulter Access® 2) using a cutoff of 0.01 ng/ml. Prostate specific antigen was also measured in 44 men after cystoprostatectomy who had no pathological evidence of prostate cancer with the Hybritech assay and with the Quanterix AccuPSA™ assay.
Of the 754 men 17% (131) experienced biochemical recurrence (median 4.0 years). Those men without biochemical recurrence (83%, 623) had a minimum of 5 years of followup (median 11). Prostate specific antigen was less than 0.01 ng/ml in 93.4% of men with no biochemical recurrence, whereas 30.5% of men with biochemical recurrence had a prostate specific antigen of 0.01 ng/ml or greater. On multivariate analysis postoperative prostate specific antigen at a 0.01 ng/ml cutoff, pathological stage and Gleason score, and surgical margins were significant independent predictors of biochemical recurrence risk. Kaplan-Meier estimates for mean biochemical recurrence-free survival were 15.2 years (95% CI 14.9-15.6) for prostate specific antigen less than 0.01 ng/ml and 10.0 years (95% CI 8.4-11.5) for prostate specific antigen 0.01 ng/ml or greater (p <0.0001). Biochemical recurrence-free rates 11 years after surgery were 86.1% (95% CI 83.2-89.0) for prostate specific antigen less than 0.01 ng/ml and 48.9% (95% CI 37.5-60.3) for prostate specific antigen 0.01 ng/ml or greater (p <0.0001). Prostate specific antigen concentrations in 44 men after cystoprostatectomy were all less than 0.03 ng/ml, with 95.4% less than 0.01 ng/ml.
In men with a serum prostate specific antigen less than 0.1 ng/ml after radical prostatectomy a tenfold lower cutoff (0.01 ng/ml) stratified biochemical recurrence-free survival and was a significant independent predictor of biochemical recurrence, as were pathological features. Prostate specific antigen concentrations in men without pathological evidence of prostate cancer suggest that a higher prostate specific antigen concentration (0.03 ng/ml) in the ultrasensitive range may be needed to define the detection threshold.