Identifying and characterizing "escapes"-men who develop metastases or die from prostate cancer despite screening (ERSPC, section Rotterdam) - Abstract

Department of Urology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


We aim to identify and characterize "escapes," men who developed metastasis and/or died from prostate cancer (PCa) despite screening, in the framework of the novel international ESCAPE-project. With this knowledge, the ultimate goal is to improve screening strategy. In this article, we focus on the study cohort of the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC), section Rotterdam. In all, 21,210 men were randomized to the screening arm of whom 19,950 were actually screened. The screening interval was 4 years. Men with prostate-specific antigen ≥3.0 ng/ml were recommended to undergo lateralized sextant prostate biopsy. The follow-up was complete until January 1, 2009. Of 19,950 screened men, 2,317 were diagnosed with PCa. Of these cancers 1,946 were detected in a screening round and 371 during an interval. The median follow-up was 11.1 years for the whole cohort and 7.3 years for men diagnosed with PCa. In total, we identified 168 escapes among 2,317 cancers (7.3%) within our screening cohort of 19,950 men (0.8%). More than half of these escapes were found in the initial screening round (94 of 168). Possible mechanisms behind escaping are nonattending, inadequate screening tests, the relative long screening interval, the age cut-off at 75 years, and undertreatment. International cooperation is crucial to compare the escapes of our cohort with other study groups participating in the ESCAPE-project which have different, more aggressive screening strategies. Subsequently, we can achieve improvements of the current screening algorithm, which hopefully will further decrease PCa-specific mortality without increasing overdiagnosis and overtreatment.

Written by:
Zhu X, van Leeuwen PJ, Bul M, Bangma CH, Roobol MJ, Schröder FH.   Are you the author?

Reference: Int J Cancer. 2011 Jan 20. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1002/ijc.25947

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21448904 Prostate Cancer Section