Surveilling Middle-Risk Prostate Cancer: Cautionary Data

A new study published in the December 2016 issue of the Journal of Urology indicates that active surveillance (AS) may not be a recommended treatment option for men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer.

Active surveillance is a NICE recommended treatment option for many incidents of prostate cancer. And, despite earlier research finding no significant difference in progression- free survival in low- and intermediate-risk populations, the new study conducted by the Sunnybrooke Health Sciences Centre and University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is significant because it has found a patient’s Gleason score to be an important factor in his 15-year metastasis-free survival (MFS) rate.

This evidence suggests that patients with a Gleason score of 7 are likely to suffer greater adverse outcomes through active surveillance in comparison to those with a Gleason score of 6 or less, and recommends that “Active surveillance for patients with Gleason 7 disease should be offered only in the setting of a clinical study,” according to Hima Bindu Musunuru, MD.