Does active surveillance avoid overtreatment in prostate cancer? Lessons learned from salvage radical prostatectomies

Actas Urol Esp. 2021 Feb 23:S0210-4806(21)00006-1. doi: 10.1016/j.acuro.2020.09.010. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Determine whether our institution’s active surveillance (AS) protocol is a suitable strategy to minimise prostate cancer overtreatment.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Retrospective analysis of 516 patients on AS after prostate cancer diagnosis. Population divided into «per-protocol» vs «induced» AS depending on fulfilment of protocol’s inclusion criteria. Radical prostatectomies after AS were selected and stratified based on reclassification, progression or patient anxiety. Clinicopathological features and biochemical relapse-free survival were studied. Primary endpoint was overtreatment ratio based on the presence of insignificant prostate cancer and adverse pathological features in the surgical specimen. Kaplan-Meier curves were used to estimate the biochemical relapse-free survival and compared with log-rank test.

RESULTS: 304 patients fulfilled inclusion criteria; 100 proceeded to radical prostatectomy (31% «induced», 69% «per-protocol» AS). Surgery indications were reclassification, progression and anxiety in 66%, 18% and 16% of patients, respectively. Rate of positive lymph nodes was higher in the progression group (11%) compared to reclassification and anxiety (5% and 0%, respectively; P=.002). Positive surgical margins were more frequently reported in the progression cohort compared to reclassification (28% vs 20%). Median follow-up from diagnosis until last radical prostatectomy was 48.3months (32.4-70). Three year biochemical relapse-free survival in the salvage radical prostatectomy was 85.4% (95%CI: 78.3-93.2). Insignificant cancer was noticed in 7% of patients (Epstein’s vs 24% Wolters’ criteria). Rate of patients with adverse pathological features was 36%.

CONCLUSIONS: The majority of patients who underwent salvage surgery after AS were not overtreated. Radical prostatectomy should be considered a safe rescue treatment.

PMID:33637376 | DOI:10.1016/j.acuro.2020.09.010