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Prostate. 2013 Mar;73(4):409-17. doi: 10.1002/pros.22582. Epub 2012 Sep 19.

Delayed radical prostatectomy for intermediate-risk prostate cancer is associated with biochemical recurrence: possible implications for active surveillance from the SEARCH database.

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Division of Urologic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina 27705, USA.



Active surveillance (AS) is increasingly accepted as appropriate management for low-risk prostate cancer (PC) patients. It is unknown whether delaying radical prostatectomy (RP) is associated with increased risk of biochemical recurrence (BCR) for men with intermediate-risk PC.


We performed a retrospective analysis of 1,561 low and intermediate-risk men from the Shared Equal Access Regional Cancer Hospital (SEARCH) database treated with RP between 1988 and 2011. Patients were stratified by interval between diagnosis and RP (≤ 3, 3-6, 6-9, or >9 months) and by risk using the D'Amico classification. Cox proportional hazard models were used to analyze BCR. Logistic regression was used to analyze positive surgical margins (PSM), extracapsular extension (ECE), and pathologic upgrading.


Overall, 813 (52%) men were low-risk, and 748 (48%) intermediate-risk. Median follow-up among men without recurrence was 52.9 months, during which 437 men (38.9%) recurred. For low-risk men, RP delays were unrelated to BCR, ECE, PSM, or upgrading (all P > 0.05). For intermediate-risk men, however, delays >9 months were significantly related to BCR (HR: 2.10, P = 0.01) and PSM (OR: 4.08, P < 0.01). Delays >9 months were associated with BCR in subsets of intermediate-risk men with biopsy Gleason score ≤ 3 + 4 (HR: 2.51, P < 0.01), PSA ≤ 6 (HR: 2.82, P = 0.06), and low tumor volume (HR: 2.59, P = 0.06).


For low-risk men, delayed RP did not significantly affect outcome. For men with intermediate-risk disease, delays >9 months predicted greater BCR and PSM risk. If confirmed in future studies, this suggests delayed RP for intermediate-risk PC may compromise outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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