Prostate cancer pathology audits: Is central pathology review still warranted? - Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Estimating the risk of extraprostatic extension and the probability of recurrence with different treatment modalities is common practice in cancer management. A strong predictor of recurrence and organ-confined disease is tumor grade. However, differences exist between genitourinary and non-specialist pathologists in grading prostate cancer. As such, the primary objective of this study was to assess the accuracy of non-specialist prostate cancer biopsies at our institution by analyzing the proportion of cases changing pathologic risk category upon expert review.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Log books from 2003 where our genitourinary pathologists reviewed prostate needle-core biopsies were used to identify cases. A retrospective chart review was completed and descriptive statistics were used to summarize the results for the following synoptic variables: 10 and 20 Gleason Score, number of biopsy sites, overall % involvement, perineural invasion - PNI (present/absent), extracapsular extension - ECE (present/absent).

RESULTS: A total of 151 patients were reviewed. Twenty eight percent of cases (42/151) had a change in risk category after expert review. Of the 98 low risk cases, 33% were upgraded in risk category. Of the 24 intermediate risk cases, 12% were upgraded to high risk and none were downgraded. Of the 29 high risk cases, 24% were downgraded in risk category.

CONCLUSION: All referred patients should continue to have their pathology centrally reviewed. This practice will help facilitate optimal prostate cancer management and improve quality of care. While these findings are dated given pathologic practice change, such changes do not necessarily equate with disparity elimination or reduction; conclusions can only be drawn with a more recent audit to see if such disparities still exist.

Written by:
D'Souza N, Loblaw DA, Mamedov A, Sugar L, Holden L   Are you the author?
Department of Radiation Oncology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Reference: Can J Urol. 2012 Jun;19(3):6256-60

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 22704309