The clinical usefulness of serum prostate specific antigen after hormonal therapy of metastatic prostate cancer

J. I. Miller, F. R. Ahmann, G. W. Drach, S. S. Emerson, M. R. Bottaccini

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153 Scopus citations


We longitudinally followed serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels in 48 patients who were treated with either orchiectomy, monthly luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone injection or continuous diethylstilbestrol for stage D2 prostate adenocarcinoma and achieved an objective response. Of the patients 34 had clinical evidence of disease progression (median remission duration 19 months). Median length of followup for the 14 patients who remained in remission was 42 months. Pretreatment performance status, pretreatment extent of metastases as measured by a bone scan and post- treatment nadir PSA level were univariately correlated with remission duration. After adjustment for the 2 former pretreatment variables, a highly significant independent effect of the nadir PSA level on remission duration persisted. Patients whose post-treatment nadir PSA level decreased below 4 ng./ml. had a significantly longer remission duration than those whose nadir PSA remained elevated (median 42 versus 10 months, p <0.0001). No cases were observed to progress (as defined by our criteria independent of PSA level) while the serial post-treatment PSA levels continued to decrease or remained at a plateau after reaching the nadir. The time at which the PSA began to increase once the nadir was reached predated objective evidence of progression in all patients except 2 in whom the 2 events occurred simultaneously (mean lead time 7.3 ± 5.0 months). We conclude that following serial PSA levels in patients treated with androgen ablation for metastatic prostate cancer can aid in distinguishing favorable from nonfavorable responders early in the course of therapy and greatly assist in monitoring for progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)956-961
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3 II
StatePublished - 1992


  • antigens, differentiation
  • hormone antagonists
  • orchiectomy
  • prostatic neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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