The Natural History of Noncastrate Metastatic Prostate Cancer after Radical Prostatectomy

Ofer Yossepowitch, Fernando J. Bianco, Scott E. Eggener, James A. Eastham, Howard I. Scher, Peter T. Scardino*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To characterise the natural history of metastatic prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy (RP) in patients followed expectantly for rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) (noncastrate metastases). Methods: Cox proportional hazards analyses were used to assess predictors of survival among 95 patients who developed clinically detectable noncastrate metastases after RP. The initial metastatic phenotype was characterised as minimal (nodal or axial skeletal involvement) or extensive (appendicular skeletal involvement or visceral metastases). Estimates of survival after diagnosis of metastases were generated with the Kaplan-Meier method. Results: Median disease-specific survival from diagnosis of noncastrate metastases was 6.6 yr (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.2, 7.9). The initial site of metastatic disease was bone, lymph node, and viscera in 63%, 36%, and 6% of patients, respectively. Thirteen patients (14%) had extensive disease at their first metastatic manifestation. Longer PSA doubling time in the rising PSA state (hazard ratio [HR] 0.8 for each month increase in doubling time; 95%CI, 0.67-0.94) and the initial metastatic phenotype (HR 0.3 for minimal vs. extensive disease; 95%CI, 0.1-0.6) were associated with improved survival. The prostatectomy Gleason score, lymph node status at RP, PSA level at diagnosis of metastases, and interval from surgery to diagnosis of metastases did not correlate with outcome. Conclusion: Men who develop noncastrate metastases after RP may have a durable survival. Favourable prognostic indicators include longer PSA doubling time preceding diagnosis of metastases and initial involvement of axial skeleton or lymph nodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)940-948
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Hormonal therapy
  • Metastasis
  • Natural history
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostatectomy


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