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Management of recurrent prostate cancer after radiotherapy: long-term results from CALGB 9687 (Alliance), a prospective multi-institutional salvage prostatectomy series




To evaluate efficacy and morbidity prospectively in a contemporary multi-institutional salvage radical prostatectomy (SRP) series.


Forty-one men were enrolled between 1997 and 2006, who suffered biopsy-proven recurrent prostate cancer (CaP) after receiving ≥ 60c Gy radiation as primary treatment for cT1–2NXM0 disease. Surgical morbidity, quality of life, biochemical progression-free survival (BPFS) and overall survival (OS) were evaluated.


Twenty-four men had undergone external beam radiotherapy, 11 brachytherapy, and six both. Median time between radiation and SRP was 64 months. Median age at SRP was 64 years. Pathologic staging revealed 44% pT2, 54% pT3, and 3% pT4. Surgical margins were positive in 17 and 88% were pN0. Twenty-two percent required intraoperative blood transfusion. Three rectal and one obturator nerve injuries occurred. Seventeen of 38 evaluable patients (45%) had urinary incontinence ( ≥ 3 pads/day) prior to SRP; 88% reported urinary incontinence at 6 months, 85% at 12 months, 63% at 24 months after SRP. Furthermore, 37% of men reported impotence prior to SRP; 78% reported impotence at 6 months, 82% at 12 months, and 44% at 24 months after SRP. The 2-, 5- and 10-year BPFS rates were 51, 39, and 33% respectively; the 2-, 5- and 10-year OS rates were 100, 89, and 52%, respectively, at median follow-up 91 months.


Modern surgical techniques continue to be associated with significant peri-operative complication rates. Nevertheless, SRP may benefit carefully selected patients through durable oncologic control

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The research for CALGB 9687 (Alliance) was supported, in part, by grants from the National Cancer Institute (CA31946) to the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology (Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, Chair) and to the Alliance Statistics and Data Center (Daniel J. Sargent, Ph.D., CA33601). The content of this manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Cancer Institute.

The following institutions participated in this study:

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, Armando Giuliano, MD

Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, Jeffrey Crawford, MD, supported by CA47577

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, Clifford A. Hudis, MD, supported by CA77651

University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, Charles J. Ryan, MD, supported by CA60138

University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, Hedy L. Kindler, MD, supported by CA41287

University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, William V. Walsh, MD, supported by CA37135

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, Thomas C. Shea, MD, supported by CA47559

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Correspondence to James L. Mohler.

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Mohler, J.L., Halabi, S., Ryan, S.T. et al. Management of recurrent prostate cancer after radiotherapy: long-term results from CALGB 9687 (Alliance), a prospective multi-institutional salvage prostatectomy series. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 22, 309–316 (2019).

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