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Dr. Einstein on Biochemical Recurrence in Prostate Cancer

David J. Einstein, MD, instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and attending physician of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, discusses biochemical recurrence in patients with prostate cancer.

David J. Einstein, MD, instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and attending physician of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, discusses biochemical recurrence in patients with prostate cancer.

Biochemical recurrence is a big area of prostate cancer, says Einstein. Biochemical recurrence is defined as detectable levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) following primary therapy. There are slight variances in how this is quantified depending on the type of therapeutic intervention patients receive, explains Einstein. Biochemical recurrence is also often defined by the lack of metastases on imaging via CAT scan or bone scan.

This can adversely affect patient quality of life, he adds. A rising PSA often indicates the presence of micrometastatic disease, which will more often than not lead to metastatic disease. The time before patients reach that metastatic state can vary. For example, a patient can go years before developing metastatic disease, prior to which they may die of unrelated causes, or they may develop metastatic disease fairly quickly, he concludes.

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