For patients experiencing biochemical recurrence in the absence of distant metastasis, salvage radiotherapy (SRT) with or without androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is currently the only possible curative treatment option. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) monitoring and the selected use of SRT has some advantages when compared with adjuvant radiotherapy. The most important one is avoidance of a potential overtreatment of patients who would never have disease progression, even in the presence of high-risk pathological features. The identification of a specific PSA cut-off seems to be incorrect. In patients with more adverse pathological features, early SRT administered at the very first sign of a PSA rise granted better disease control. Dose-intensified SRT is feasible and well tolerated with no significant difference in grade 2 or more acute and late toxicity. At least 66 Gy must be given in the salvage setting. ADT has a radio-sensitising effect on the radiotherapy by inhibiting the repair of DNA double-strand breaks. The use of ADT in the salvage setting results in a better oncological outcome. Hormonal therapy is associated with a decrease in quality of life and side-effects depending on the duration of hormone therapy. The oncological benefit of hormone therapy duration depends on their clinical and pathological characteristics. 68-Ga-prostate-specific membrane antigen positron emission tomography-computed tomography is the gold standard in staging prostate cancer patients with biochemical persistence or recurrence after radical prostatectomy. The implementation of 18F-labelled PSMA tracers can provide a further improvement.Copyright © 2020 The Royal College of Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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