Survival After Robotic-Assisted Prostatectomy for Localized Prostate Cancer: An Epidemiologic Study.

To determine the potential survival benefit associated with robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) compared to open radical prostatectomy (ORP) for prostate cancer.

RALP has become the dominant surgical approach for localized disease in the absence of randomized clinical evidence and despite of the factor that RALP is more expensive than ORP.

We performed a cohort study involving patients who underwent RALP and ORP for localized prostate cancer at the Commission on Cancer-accredited hospitals in the United States. Overall survival was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method, log-rank test, Cox proportional hazards models, and propensity score-matched analyses. An interrupted time-series analysis using the surveillance, epidemiology, and end results program database was also performed.

From 2010 to 2011, 37,645 patients received RALP and 12,655 patients received ORP. At a median follow-up of 60.7 months, RALP was associated with improved overall survival by both univariate [hazard ratio (HR), 0.69; P < 0.001] and multivariate analysis (HR, 0.76; P < 0.001) compared with ORP. Propensity score-matched analysis demonstrated improved 5-year all-cause mortality (3.9% vs 5.5%, HR, 0.73; P < 0.001) for RALP. The interrupted time-series analysis demonstrated the adoption of robotic surgery coincided with a systematic improvement in the 5-year cancer-specific survival rate of 0.17% (95% confidence interval, 0.06-0.25) per year after 2003 (P = 0.004 for change of trend), as compared to the time before adoption of RALP (1998-2003, annual percentage change, 0.01%; 95% confidence interval, -0.06 to 0.08). Sensitivity analysis suggested that the results from the interrupted time-series analysis were consistent with the improvement in the all-cause mortality demonstrated in the survival analysis (P = 0.87).

In this epidemiologic analysis, RALP was associated with a small but statistically significant improvement in 5-year all-cause mortality compared to ORP for localized prostate cancer. This is the first time in the literature to report a survival benefit with RALP. Our findings have significant quality and cost implications, and provide assurance regarding a dominant adoption of more expensive technology in the absence of randomized controlled trials.

Annals of surgery. 2019 Oct 28 [Epub ahead of print]

Yuefeng Wang, Holger Gieschen, Mark Greenberger, Xinhua Yu, Gary Tian, Noam VanderWalde, Todd Stockstill, Michael Farmer, Lillian Rinker, Enrique W Izaguirre, Bradley Somer, Matthew T Ballo

Department of Radiation Oncology, West Cancer Center and Research Institute, Memphis, Tennessee., The Urology Group, Memphis, Tennessee., Division of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee., Department of Hematology/Oncology, West Cancer Center and Research Institute, Memphis, Tennessee.

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