Favorable vs Unfavorable Intermediate-Risk Prostate Cancer: A Review of the New Classification System and Its Impact on Treatment Recommendations.

The population of patients with intermediate-risk prostate cancer are a large and heterogeneous group with highly variable prognoses, which present a challenge to efforts to develop standardized treatment recommendations. New classification systems have been proposed that modify the existing National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines and that subdivide men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer into favorable and unfavorable subgroups. This review will examine the changing landscape of intermediate-risk prostate cancer and the effects on treatment decisions that may result from this new classification. The literature provides evidence that men with favorable intermediate-risk prostate cancer have prostate cancer-specific mortality and all-cause mortality rates similar to the rates in patients with low-risk prostate cancer and thus may be candidates for active surveillance, dose-escalated radiation therapy without short-term androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), or, interestingly, standard-dose radiation therapy plus short-term ADT. Conversely, patients with unfavorable intermediate-risk prostate cancer have prostate cancer-specific mortality and all-cause mortality rates similar to the rates in patients with high-risk prostate cancer. These patients would not be candidates for active surveillance and may in fact require long-term ADT in addition to standard-dose or dose-escalated radiation therapy instead of 4 to 6 months of ADT.

Oncology (Williston Park, N.Y.). 2016 Mar 15 [Epub]

Nicholas A Serrano, Mitchell S Anscher Facro Fastro