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Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2010 Jul;7(7):394-400. doi: 10.1038/nrclinonc.2010.63. Epub 2010 May 4.

Treatment of localized prostate cancer: when is active surveillance appropriate?

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Department of Surgery, University of Connecticut Health Center, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030, USA.


Testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) has caused a dramatic increase in the incidence of prostate cancer during the past two decades. Many cancers identified by repeated PSA testing are small volume, low-grade lesions that pose little threat of progression over 15-20 years. Data from a recently reported randomized trial indicate that as many as 48 men must undergo treatment to prevent one prostate cancer-related death. Unfortunately, no test is currently available that can identify those men who have clinically significant disease. Men least likely to experience disease progression are men who harbor tumors with a Gleason score of 6 involving 2 needle cores or less; these men may want to consider active surveillance as their initial treatment option. Researchers have followed over 2,500 men on active surveillance protocols (over 200 men have been followed for >10 years). To date, prostate cancer-specific survival is over 99%. About 25% of men enrolled in active surveillance programs have abandoned this approach because of concerns about disease progression. For men harboring tumors with a Gleason score >7, data from two recently reported Swedish trials suggest lower prostate cancer-related mortality for those men receiving either surgery or radiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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