Active surveillance shown to be an effective management strategy for prostate cancer patients

June 12, 2024
Study evaluated long-term outcomes of using active surveillance instead of immediate treatment with surgery or radiation.

Researchers from Fred Hutch Cancer Center have found that active surveillance for prostate cancer patients with a low risk of progression is an effective alternative to immediate surgery or radiation to manage the disease.

Published in JAMA, the study found that 10 years after diagnosis, 49% of men using active surveillance – which includes regular prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, biopsies and digital-rectal exams to monitor whether the cancer is growing or becoming more aggressive – remained free of treatment or progression. Less than 2% developed metastatic disease and less than 1% died of prostate cancer.

Further, patients who were treated after several years of active surveillance had the same rates of poor outcomes, such as adverse pathology or metastasis, as those treated immediately following a confirmatory biopsy, validating active surveillance as a safe initial management strategy for low-risk prostate cancers.

The research is part of the Canary Prostate Active Surveillance Study (CanaryPASS), which collects data and tissue samples from more than 2,300 patients with early-stage prostate cancer. Researchers use the CanaryPASS data to better distinguish between low-risk and aggressive prostate cancers, develop biomarkers that can help with early detection and reduce overtreatment.

Fred Hutch Cancer Center release on Newswise

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