PSA After Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Last Modified: July 22, 2007

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Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

Prior to commencing 44 treatments of proton radiation therapy at Loma Linda Medical Center in January 2007 for prostate cancer, my PSA was 8.5 and Gleason score was 5. Almost 4 months after my last proton treatment, my PSA is 9.59. I never had symptoms before being diagnosed and still don't have any. When can I expect my PSA to lower significantly?

Answer

James M. Metz, MD, Editor-in-Chief of OncoLink and Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

The serum PSA level should drop over time after any radiation therapy, including proton therapy. However, there can be an initial rise during and immediately after treatment due to inflammation of the prostate gland from the radiation. The PSA trend needs to be followed regularly, usually every 3-6 months. The PSA should drop considerably by one year. If the PSA continues to rise after treatment, further investigation to rule out disease spread outside of the prostate gland is warranted.


News
ASTRO: Combination Therapy Beneficial in Prostate Cancer

Aug 27, 2014 - Long-term survival may be increased in medium-risk prostate cancer patients who receive short-term androgen deprivation therapy before and during radiation treatment compared with men who receive radiation alone. In addition, proton beam therapy may be associated with a decreased risk of disease recurrence after 10 years and has minimal side effects after one year, according to research presented at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, held from Nov. 1 to 5 in Chicago.



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