a d Biochemical Failure | Oncolink - Cancer Resources

Biochemical Failure

Ultima Vez Modificado: 20 de febrero del 2009

Share article


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

What does biochemical failure mean?


Richard Whittington, MD, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, responds:

Biochemical failure is the return of a previously treated prostate cancer, which is determined by a rising PSA (prostate specific antigen). This differs from clinical failure, which is detected by a radiology scan (such as CAT scan or bone scan) or tissue biopsy.

There is no standard definition of biochemical failure. Some people say biochemical failure is defined as 3 consecutive rises in PSA, while others say it is defined as 2.0 ng above the lowest post-treatment measurement. Still some others will qualify their answer by saying 3 rises with a minimum total rise of 1.0ng/ml. Even after radical prostatectomy, and knowing that the only thing in the body that makes PSA is the normal prostate gland or prostate cancer, some people still say that a PSA of 0.1 is a recurrence, while others use 0.2 or 0.4 (2 rises above “undetectable”).

I Wish You Knew

Understanding prostate cancer screening

View More

Blogs and Web Chats

OncoLink Blogs give our readers a chance to react to and comment on key cancer news topics and provides a forum for OncoLink Experts and readers to share opinions and learn from each other.

OncoLink OncoPilot

Frente a un nuevo diagnóstico de cáncer o de cambiar el curso de su tratamiento actual? Deje que nuestro personal de enfermería cáncer que ayudan a pasar!

Más información