Transrectal ultrasonography-guided biopsy does not reliably identify dominant cancer location in men with low-risk prostate cancer - Abstract

Departments of Urology and Pathology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Study Type - Diagnostic (exploratory cohort) Level of Evidence 2b.

What's known on the subject? and What does the study add? The widespread use of serum PSA testing followed by TRUS-guided biopsy have resulted in profound prostate cancer stage migration with many patients presenting with focal rather than multifocal disease. There is increasing interest in the use of focal rather than whole-gland treatment. However, current biopsy schemes may still miss cancer or, even when cancer is identified, its extent or grade might not be accurately characterized. In order for focal therapy to be effective, the area of highest tumour volume and/or grade needs to localized accurately. The aim of this study was to assess how well biopsy, as currently performed, locates the focus of highest prostate cancer volume and/or grade.

To evaluate the ability of transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS)-guided extended core biopsy to identify the dominant tumour accurately in men with early stage prostate cancer.

Patients with early stage, low-risk prostate cancer who subsequently underwent radical prostatectomy (RP) and had complete surgical specimens were identified. Re-review was performed by a single uropathologist using ImageJ software to identify tumour location, dominant grade (DG) and dominant volume (DV). Pathology findings were then compared with biopsy results.

A total of 51 men with early stage, low-risk prostate cancer, who had undergone RP, had complete specimens for review and a median of 15 biopsy cores taken for diagnosis and grading. Sixteen men had a single diagnostic biopsy, 21 had one repeat biopsy, and 14 had two or more repeat biopsies.  Compared with surgical findings, biopsy correctly identified the sextant with the largest tumour volume in 55% (95% CI 0.5-0.6) of specimens and the highest grade in 37% (95 CI 0.3-0.5).  No demographic or clinical factors were significantly associated with identification of DG. Interval between last biopsy and RP, total tissue length taken and total length of tumour identified were significantly associated with correct identification of DV.

Our findings show that TRUS-guided biopsy detects and localizes DV better than it does DG. Even with an extended scheme, TRUS-guided biopsy does not reliably identify dominant cancer location in this low-risk cohort of men with early stage prostate cancer. TRUS-guided biopsy may perform better in similar men with low stage, but higher volume disease.

Written by:
Washington SL, Bonham M, Whitson JM, Cowan JE, Carroll PR.   Are you the author?

Reference: BJU Int. 2011 Nov 11. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2011.10704.x

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 22077660 Prostate Cancer Section


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