Active Surveillance Strategies for Low-Grade Prostate Cancer: Comparative Benefits and Cost-effectiveness.

Background Active surveillance (AS) is the recommended treatment option for low-risk prostate cancer (PC). Surveillance varies in MRI, frequency of follow-up, and the Prostate Imaging Reporting and Data System (PI-RADS) score that would repeat biopsy. Purpose To compare the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of AS strategies for low-risk PC with versus without MRI. Materials and Methods This study developed a mathematical model to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of surveillance strategies in a simulation of men with a diagnosis of low-risk PC. The following strategies were compared: watchful waiting, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and annual biopsy without MRI, and PSA testing and MRI with varied PI-RADS thresholds for biopsy. MRI strategies differed regarding scheduling and use of PI-RADS score of at least 3, or a PI-RADS score of at least 4 to indicate the need for biopsy. Life-years, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were calculated by using microsimulation. Sensitivity analysis was used to assess the impact of varying parameter values on results. Results For the base case of 60-year-old men, all strategies incorporating prostate MRI extended QALYs and life-years compared with watchful waiting and non-MRI strategies. Annual MRI strategies yielded 16.19 QALYs, annual biopsy with no MRI yielded 16.14 QALYs, and watchful waiting yielded 15.94 QALYs. Annual MRI with PI-RADS score of at least 3 or of at least 4 as the biopsy threshold and annual MRI with biopsy even after MRI with negative findings offered similar QALYs and the same unadjusted life expectancy: 23.05 life-years. However, a PI-RADS score of at least 4 yielded 42% fewer lifetime biopsies. With a cost-effectiveness threshold of $100 000 per QALY, annual MRI with biopsy for lesions with PI-RADS scores of 4 or greater was most cost-effective (incremental cost-effectiveness ratio, $67 221 per QALY). Age, treatment type, risk of initial grade misclassification, and quality-of-life impact of procedural complications affected results. Conclusion The use of active surveillance (AS) with biopsy decisions guided by findings from annual MRI reduces the number of biopsies while preserving life expectancy and quality of life. Biopsy in lesions with PI-RADS scores of 4 or greater is likely the most cost-effective AS strategy for men with low-risk prostate cancer who are younger than 70 years. © RSNA, 2021 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

Radiology. 2021 Jul 13 [Epub ahead of print]

Stella K Kang, Rahul D Mali, Vinay Prabhu, Bart S Ferket, Stacy Loeb

From the Departments of Radiology (S.K.K., R.D.M., V.P.), Population Health (S.K.K., S.L.), and Urology (S.L.), New York University Grossman School of Medicine, 660 First Ave, Room 333, New York, NY 10016; Department of Population Health Science and Policy, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY (B.S.F.); and Manhattan VA Medical Center, New York, NY (S.L.).

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