Medline: 7495120

Urology 46(5): 676-680, 1995.

Short-term outcomes after cryosurgical ablation of the prostate in men with recurrent prostate carcinoma following radiation therapy.

Bales GT, Williams MJ, Sinner M, et al.


Cryosurgical ablation of the prostate represents a possibly efficacious method of treating prostate carcinoma in men failing radiation therapy. In addition to eradicating the disease, cryosurgery has the potential to avoid some of the morbidity associated with other treatment modalities. Therefore, a prospective Phase II trial was conducted to determine the safety and efficacy of cryosurgery following radiation therapy in men with local recurrence.

Cryosurgical ablation of the prostate was performed in men with prostate cancer previously treated by radiation therapy. All patients had biopsy-proven recurrent disease and no evidence of metastases. Initial follow-up occurred at approximately 3 months and included repeat biopsy and serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) determinations. Biochemical disease-free survival defined as a PSA value less than 0.3 ng/mL was assessed using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Thus far, 23 patients have been treated with cryosurgery with follow-up ranging between 12 and 23 months. Approximately 3 months after treatment, sextant biopsies revealed no cancer in 19 of 22 (86%) of the specimens; however, 10 of 22 (45%) showed small amounts of benign glandular tissue. The PSA at 3 months postoperatively declined in 18 of 22 (82%) patients but reached female levels in only 8 men (36%). Nineteen of 22 (86%) patients followed up a minimum of 1 year after cryotherapy have a PSA level equal to or greater than 0.3 ng/mL. Complications occurred in 100% of the patients with 12 of 22 (55%) requiring at least one transurethral resection of sloughed, necrotic tissue.

Our preliminary results suggest that the current cryosurgical technique used in men failing radiation therapy has a low probability of biochemical cure and a high complication rate. Until more data are available, cryosurgery for men with locally recurrent disease after radiation therapy should be considered strictly experimental.

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Dr. G. Quade