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Keywords:

  • active surveillance;
  • prostate biopsy;
  • prostate cancer;
  • radical prostatectomy

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The purpose of our analysis was to determine if delays in treatment caused by active surveillance result in significant pathological changes when patients no longer meet the criteria on repeat biopsy and to study whether or not these changes may affect treatment outcomes.

METHODS

Out of 207 men who were on active surveillance, 47 (23%) no longer met the criteria after one of the repeat biopsies. Twenty-two underwent radical prostatectomy at our institution and formed the main group (Group 1) of this study. One hundred sixty-four patients met the criteria for active surveillance but underwent immediate surgery. Of these patients, we selected 38 (23%) with the lowest predicted biochemical recurrence-free survival. These patients formed the comparison group (Group 2). Pathological features as well as postoperative biochemical outcomes were compared between the groups.

RESULTS

Seven patients (32%) in Group 1 and four (11%) in Group 2 have predominantly high-grade cancer (i.e., ≥4/5 + 3) at pathology. The visually estimated percent of carcinoma was also higher in patients initially managed by active surveillance (median 12.5 vs. 5.0 in Groups 1 and 2, respectively, P = 0.009). Other pathological characteristics were similar in both groups. With limited duration of follow-up, postoperative biochemical recurrence-free survival did not differ significantly between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Our study has demonstrated that both tumor grade and volume may increase during active surveillance. However, the clinical significance of these changes with respect to the outcomes of delayed treatment remains to be established. Prostate 72:1573–1579, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.