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Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2003 Jan;33(1):1-5.

Watchful waiting as a treatment option for localized prostate cancer in the PSA era.

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Department of Urology, Faculty of Medicine, Kagawa Medical University, Kita-gun, Kagawa, Japan.


The incidence rate of early-stage prostate cancer has dramatically increased since the introduction of the widespread use of PSA testing in developed countries, including Japan. With the downward stage migration there has been much interest in the concept of watchful waiting not only for elderly patients with a life expectancy of less than 10 years but also in younger patients with good social and sexual activity. The results of a recent randomized comparison between radical prostatectomy and watchful waiting for localized disease indicated comparable overall survival but superiority of surgery in disease-specific survival. The predictive value of clinico-pathological parameters including biopsy features and serum PSA seems insufficient to predict tumor growth potential. Our ongoing prospective study is aimed at clarifying whether PSA doubling time assessment for 6 months in patients with favorable biopsy features can be a good indicator for further watchful waiting or immediate aggressive treatment without any survival disadvantage.

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