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ASTRO: PSA 'Bounce' Doesn't Predict Prostate Cancer Return

Large-scale study shows temporary increase in levels is not associated with increased risk

THURSDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A temporary rise in prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels in men who undergo radiation therapy for prostate cancer does not indicate an increased risk of cancer recurrence, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology in Philadelphia.

Eric Horwitz, M.D., of the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues studied more than 7,500 men with prostate cancer who received either external beam radiation therapy or radiation seed implants and followed them for 10 years.

The researchers found that the men who experienced a PSA bounce were not at increased risk of prostate cancer recurrence compared to men whose PSA levels remained stable.

"I believe the results of our study should help reduce the stress and uncertainty for men who experience a PSA bounce after radiation knowing that this doesn't represent a recurrence or put them at increased risk for cancer coming back later on," Horwitz said in a statement. "This study significantly impacts the clinical practice for both radiation oncologists and urologists. Clinicians should consider additional PSA tests after the initial bounce to see if the PSA levels return to normal before concluding that cancer has recurred and recommending additional treatment."

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