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Urology. 2010 Sep;76(3):695-700. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2009.12.073. Epub 2010 Apr 15.

Outcomes after radical prostatectomy among men who are candidates for active surveillance: results from the SEARCH database.

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Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, University of California-San Diego, San Diego, CA 92103-8897, USA.



We sought to evaluate outcomes after radical prostatectomy among men with low-risk prostate cancer who would be candidates for active surveillance.


Using the Shared Equal Access Regional Cancer Hospital (SEARCH) database of men treated with radical prostatectomy at multiple equal-access medical centers between 1988 and 2007, 398 of 2062 men (19%) met our criteria for potential active surveillance: clinical stage T1c or T2a, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) <10 ng/mL, Gleason sum ≤6, and no more than 1 or 2 positive cores on at least a sextant biopsy. We examined the risk of adverse pathology, biochemical progression, and PSA doubling time (PSADT) at the time of recurrence. We used a Cox proportional hazards model to determine the significant predictors of PSA progression.


Of the men with low-risk prostate cancer, 85% had organ-confined disease, only 2% had seminal vesicle invasion, and no patient had lymph node metastasis. The 5- and 10 year PSA-free survival rates were 81% (95% CI: 76-86%) and 66% (95% CI: 54-76%). On multivariate analysis, older age (P = .005), Agent Orange exposure (P = .02), and obesity (P = .03) were all significantly associated with biochemical failure. Mean and median PSADT among men who experienced recurrence were 37 and 20 months. Only 3 patients experienced recurrence with PSADT < 9 months.


Most men with low-risk prostate cancer treated with radical prostatectomy experience long-term PSA control. Those who did experience recurrence often did so with a long PSADT. Consistent with prior SEARCH database reports, older age, Agent Orange exposure, and obesity increased the risk of recurrence.

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