Active surveillance: The Canadian experience with an "inclusive approach" - Abstract

Active surveillance has evolved to become a standard of care for favorable-risk prostate cancer.

This is a summary of the rationale, method, and results of active surveillance beginning in 1995 with the first prospective trial of this approach. This was a prospective, single-arm cohort study. Patients were managed with an initial expectant approach. Definitive intervention was offered to those patients with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) doubling time of less than 3 years, Gleason score progression (to 4+3 or greater), or unequivocal clinical progression. Survival analysis and Cox proportional hazard model were applied to the data. Since November 1995, 450 patients have been managed with active surveillance. The cohort included men under 70 with favorable-risk disease and men of age more than 70 with favorable- or intermediate-risk cancer (Gleason score 3+4 or PSA 10-15). Median follow-up is 6.8 years (range 1-16 years). Overall survival is 78.6%. Ten-year prostate cancer actuarial survival is 97.2%. Five of 450 patients (1.1%) have died of prostate cancer. Thirty percent of patients have been reclassified as higher-risk patients and offered definitive therapy. The commonest indication for treatment was a PSA doubling time less than 3 years (48%) or Gleason upgrading (26%). Of 117 patients treated radically, the PSA failure rate was 50%. This represents 13% of the total cohort. Most PSA failures occurred early; at 2 years, 44% of the treated patients had PSA failure. The hazard ratio for non-prostate cancer mortality to prostate cancer mortality was 18.6 at 10 years. In conclusion, we observed a very low rate of prostate cancer mortality in an intermediate time frame. Among the one-third of patients who were reclassified as higher risk and retreated, PSA failure was relatively common. However, other-cause mortality accounted for almost all of the deaths. Further studies are warranted to improve the identification of patients who harbor more aggressive disease in spite of favorable clinical parameters at diagnosis [reproduced from Klotz (1) with permission from Wolters Kluwer Health].

Written by:
Klotz L.   Are you the author?
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Division of Urology, University of Toronto, 2075 Bayview Ave, #MG408, Toronto, ON M4N 3M5.

Reference: J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 2012;2012(45):234-41.
doi: 10.1093/jncimonographs/lgs042

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 23271779 Prostate Cancer Section