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Prognostic value of PSA bounce in prostate cancer following definitive radiation therapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis




The prognostic significance of PSA bounce following definitive radiation therapy remains controversial. To develop a sense of current opinion in this area, we performed a systematic search of the literature based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses.


In January 2021, we systematically searched PubMed, the Cochrane library, and Scopus for studies that compared patients who had localized prostate cancer with or without PSA bounce after definitive radiation therapy. Our objective was to evaluate the association of PSA bounce with biochemical recurrence-free survival, metastatic-free survival, cancer-specific survival, and overall survival, using multivariate Cox regression analysis.


A total of 8881 patients in 10 studies matched the selection criteria for the systematic review and meta-analysis. The number of patients with PSA bounce accounted for 2706 of all 8881 patients (30.5%). PSA bounce was associated with better biochemical recurrence-free survival after definitive radiation therapy (pooled HR: 0.62, 95% CI: 0.54–0.71). Subgroup analyses also showed that PSA bounce was independently associated with decreased risk for biochemical recurrence-free survival in prostate cancer patients treated with low dose rate brachytherapy alone (pooled HR: 0.38, 95% CI: 0.27–0.55) and external beam radiotherapy alone (pooled HR: 0.71, 95% CI: 0.57–0.87).


This meta-analysis indicated that PSA bounce after definitive radiation therapy is related to improved outcome in terms of biochemical failure in prostate cancer patients.

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Fig. 1: Study selection process.
Fig. 2: The association of PSA bounce with biochemical recurrence-free survival in localized prostate cancer patients following definitive radiation therapy.
Fig. 3: The association of PSA bounce with biochemical recurrence-free survival in localized prostate cancer patients following LDR-BT.
Fig. 4: The association of PSA bounce with biochemical recurrence-free survival in localized prostate cancer patients following EBRT.


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The authors thank Lee Seaman of Seaman Medical, Inc., Bellingham WA USA for English language editing.

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Correspondence to Fumihiko Urabe.

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Urabe, F., Kimura, S., Tashiro, K. et al. Prognostic value of PSA bounce in prostate cancer following definitive radiation therapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 24, 976–985 (2021).

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