Relapse Free Survival is abbreviated as
BRFS and means that after undergoing a prostate cancer
treatment the patientís PSA level does not rise
for 2 to 3 consecutive. Biochemical relapse free survival
should not be confused with overall survival. Overall
survival when used in a clinical sense refers only to
those who did not die as a result of their prostate
cancer at the time of follow-up. Many doctors believe
that there is comparative difference in the overall
survival rates, possibly due to the unusually slow growth
rate common in most types of prostate cancers.
Biochemical relapse free survival is a more specific term. The word biochemical refers to the use of the prostate-specific antigen as a tumor marker. If the patient relapses biochemically, his PSA level has risen significantly. Generally, patients who undergo a prostate cancer treatment should have nearly undetectable PSA levels, somewhere around or under 1.0 ng/mL. Those with a high PSA velocity after treatment have experienced biochemical relapse, but they have not died. Biochemical relapse, however, is a reasonable indicator of who will develop recurrent prostate cancer.