Requirements for Postoperative Radiation Therapy
by William J. Catalona, M.D.


Postoperative radiation therapy is for patients who have a rising PSA after radical prostatectomy or have adverse findings in their radical prostatectomy pathology report.

These adverse findings are extra-prostatic tumor extension, cancer cells at the surgical margins, seminal vesicle invasion, or lymph node involvement.


Postoperative radiation therapy should be given using a high-energy linear accelerator that can deliver at least 15 million electron volt photons.

It is preferable to use 3-dimensional conformal therapy to reduce the side effects on the rectum. Usually, the total dose given is approximately 64 Gy.

This therapy involves daily treatments that last only a few minutes, 5 days a week for about 6 and one-half weeks.