Are we able to correctly identify prostate cancer patients who could be adequately treated by focal therapy? - Abstract

Laboratory of Surgical and Molecular Pathology, Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Because of the improvements on detection of early stage prostate cancer over the last decade, focal therapy for localized prostate cancer (PC) has been proposed for patients with low-risk disease. Such treatment would allow the control of cancer, thereby diminishing side effects, such as urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction, which have an enormous impact on quality of life. The critical issue is whether it is possible to preoperatively predict clinically significant unifocal or unilateral prostate cancer with sufficient accuracy. Our aim is to determine whether there is any preoperative feature that can help select the ideal patient for focal therapy.

A total of 599 patients who underwent transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)-guided prostate biopsy followed by radical prostatectomy to treat PC were examined in our laboratory between 2001 and 2009. We established very restricted criteria to select patients with very-low-risk disease for whom focal therapy would be suitable (only 1 biopsy core positive, tumor no larger than 80% of a single core, no perineural invasion, PSA serum level < 10 ng/ml, Gleason score < 7 and clinical stage T1c, T2a-b). We defined 2 groups of patients who would be either adequately treated or not treated by focal therapy. The primary endpoint was the evaluation of preoperative features in order to identify which parameters should be considered when choosing good candidates for focal therapy.

Fifty-six out of 599 patients met our criteria. The mean age was 59 years, and the mean number of biopsy cores was 14.4. Forty-seven (83.9%) were staged T1c, and 9 (16.1%) were staged T2a-b. Forty-four (78.6%) patients could be considered to have been adequately treated by focal therapy, and 12 (21.4%) could not. There was no statistical difference between the 2 groups considering age, clinical stage, PSA levels, Gleason score, and tumor volume in the biopsy. All 12 patients who could be considered inadequately treated had a bilateral, significant secondary tumor, 58.3% had Gleason ≥ 7, and 25% were staged pT3.

Although focal therapy might be a good option for patients with localized prostate cancer, we are so far unable to select which of them would benefit from it based on preoperative data, even using very restricted criteria, and a considerable proportion of men would still be left undertreated.

Written by:
Katz B, Srougi M, Dall'oglio M, Nesrallah AJ, Sant'anna AC, Pontes J Jr, Reis ST, Sañudo A, Camara-Lopes LH, Leite KR.   Are you the author?

Reference: Urol Oncol. 2011 Mar 30. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2010.10.010

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21458310 Prostate Cancer Section