PSA-Bounce speaks for good prognosis

Current study shows increased survival probability in patients with short-term PSA increase after brachytherapy

Patients with PSA bounce in the first few years after brachytherapy (internal radiation) are less likely to develop a recurrence and have an even better overall success rate than patients without a short-term increase in PSA. This is the result of a recent study1 recently published in a renowned medical journal.

A brief increase in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) following brachytherapy does not in many cases indicate renewed tumor growth,"emphasizes Dr. Stephan Neubauer, urologist at the West German Prostate Center. For example, more than 30 percent of patients treated with brachytherapy experience a short-term increase in PSA, the so-called PSA bounce, one to two years after therapy. The reason for this is usually an inflammation of the remaining prostate tissue caused by radiation.

Better disease prognosis in patients with PSA bounce

A rise in PSA after brachytherapy is therefore often not due to a poor outcome of the treatment, as is often assumed by lay people. On the contrary: As a recent study has recently shown, patients with a PSA bounce suffer even less frequently from relapse and have a better success rate in terms of both disease and overall survival1. In a period of 10 years after brachytherapy, for example, only 10 percent of patients with PSA bounce show a relapse "We can assume that a temporary increase in PSA after treatment indicates a better prognosis of disease and a higher life expectancy," summarizes Dr. Neubauer.

The Cologne urologist therefore advises colleagues and patients to keep calm and keep an eye on the overall situation: A characteristic feature of a PSA bounce is that the increase (< 2ng/mL) usually occurs in the first three years after treatment and returns to normal after an average of 18 to 20 months. It makes sense to check the PSA value at three- to six-month intervals in accordance with the criteria of the American specialist association ASTRO,"adds Dr. Neubauer. The prudent assessment of a short-term increase in PSA after brachytherapy can help to avoid both the patient's and his family's concerns about a relapse of the disease and unnecessary therapies. According to the urologist, it is imperative to provide patients with irradiated prostate cancer with comprehensive information about the characteristics of a PSA bounce.


Hinnen KA, Monninkhof EM, Battermann JJ, van Roermund JG, Frank SJ, van Vulpen M.: Prostate specific antigen bounce is related to overall survival in prostate brachytherapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Feb 1;82 (2): 883-8th Epub 2011 Feb 6.

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