Delay of surgery in men with low risk prostate cancer.
ABSTRACT Treatment options for patients with low risk prostate cancer include radical prostatectomy, radiation therapy, and active surveillance. Among patients treated with radical prostatectomy, prior studies have demonstrated significantly higher biochemical progression rates with surgical delays of 6 months or greater. We determined the impact of surgical delay on radical prostatectomy outcomes specifically in low risk patients.
From our radical prostatectomy database we identified men who fulfilled the D'Amico low risk criteria (clinical stage T1c/T2a, prostate specific antigen less than 10 ng/ml, and biopsy Gleason 6 or less). Pathological tumor features and biochemical progression rates were compared between men with and without surgical delay. We used Cox proportional hazards models to examine predictors of biochemical progression.
Of 1,111 men who fulfilled the D'Amico low risk criteria, those with a surgical delay of 6 months or more were significantly older, had a higher proportion of African American men, and a lower proportion of clinical stage T2a (vs T1). A surgical delay of 6 months or more was associated with a greater risk of high grade disease at prostatectomy (p = 0.001) and biochemical progression (p = 0.04). The progression-free survival rate was significantly lower among men with a surgical delay. On multivariate analysis with prostate specific antigen and clinical stage, surgical delays of 6 months or more were significantly and independently associated with time to biochemical progression.
In men who met the D'Amico low risk criteria, a surgical delay of 6 months or more was associated with significantly worse radical prostatectomy outcomes, including more pathology upgrading and a higher rate of biochemical progression. Low risk patients choosing to defer initial definitive therapy should be counseled regarding the possibility of worse treatment outcomes at a later date.