Background: Treatment of biochemical failure after radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer is largely empirically based. The use of PSA kinetics has been used as a guide to determine local or systemic treatment of biochemical failure. We here compared PSA kinetics with detection of bone marrow micrometastasis as methods to determine local or systemic relapse. Materials and
Methods: A transversal study was conducted of men with biochemical failure, defined as a serum PSA >0.2ng/ml after radical prostatectomy. Consecutive patients having undergone radical prostatectomy and with biochemical failure were enrolled and clinical and pathological details were recorded. Bone marrow biopsies were obtained from the iliac crest and touch prints made, micrometastasis (mM) being detected using anti-PSA. The clinical parameters of total serum PSA, PSA velocity, PSA doubling time and time to biochemical failure, age, Gleason score and pathological stage were registered.
Results: A total of 147 men, mean age 71.6 ± 8.2 years, with a median time to biochemical failure of 5.5 years (IQR 1.0-6.3 years) participated in the study. Bone marrow samples were positive for micrometastasis in 98/147 (67%) of patients at the time of biochemical failure. The results of bone marrow micrometastasis detected by immunocytochemistry were not concordant with local relapse as defined by PSA velocity, time to biochemical failure or Gleason score. In men with a PSA doubling time of < six months or a total serum PSA of >2,5ng/ml at the time of biochemical failure the detection of bone marrow micrometastasis was significantly higher.
Conclusions: The detection of bone marrow micrometastasis could be useful in defining systemic relapse, this minimally invasive procedure warranting further studies with a larger group of patients.