Surgical management after active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer: pathological outcomes compared with men undergoing immediate treatment


Marc A. Dall’Era, Department of Urology, University of California, Davis, 4860 Y Street, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.


Study Type – Therapy (case control)
Level of Evidence 3b

What's known on the subject? and What does the study add?

The risks of delayed radical prostatectomy for men who progress on active surveillance are largely unknown. Two series have reported that prostatectomy after active surveillance has similar results to immediate therapy. Our data add to this growing body of evidence that appropriately selected men with prostate cancer can undergo active surveillance with delayed prostatectomy without added risk of missing an opportunity for cure as the majority of tumours remain organ confined.


• To compare the pathological outcomes of men undergoing radical prostatectomy (RP) after a period of active surveillance (AS) with those of a similar risk group undergoing immediate surgery.


• We identified men through our institutional database who underwent RP within 6 months of diagnosis or after a period of AS. The primary outcome of the present study was Gleason upgrade to ≥7 after prostatectomy.

• Pathological stage and positive surgical margin rate were assessed as secondary outcomes. Binomial logistic regression models were used to determine associations of treatment subgroups with pathological upgrade, upstage and positive margins.


• Thirty-three men with initially low-risk cancer features underwent RP after a median (range) of 18 (7–76) months of AS. A total of 278 men with low-risk disease features underwent immediate RP within 6 months of diagnosis. Rates of Gleason upgrading to ≥7, pathological category pT3 and positive surgical margins did not differ significantly from the immediate RP group.

• On multivariate analysis of low-risk patients, adjusting for baseline pathological features, treatment group (AS followed by prostatectomy vs immediate prostatectomy) was not associated with Gleason upgrading (odds ratio, OR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.12–1.04), non-organ-confined disease (OR, 1.67; 95% CI, 0.32–8.65) or positive surgical margins at prostatectomy (OR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.16–5.76).


• The present analysis did not show an association between RP after a period of AS and adverse pathological features for men with low-risk disease.