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Active Surveillance Safe for Some Prostate Cancer Patients

Low-risk patients fulfilling certain criteria can be actively observed before treatment

WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Active surveillance of certain prostate cancer patients is a safe and effective strategy for prevention of systemic progression of the disease, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Urology.

Scott E. Eggener, of the University of Chicago, and colleagues conducted a study of 262 men aged 75 years or younger. The criteria for admission to the study included: a prostate specific antigen level of 10 ng/mL or less, a clinical stage T1-T2a, no more than three positive cores at biopsy with a Gleason sum of six or less, and no treatment for six months after a repeat biopsy.

During the median 29 months of follow-up, 43 patients were actively treated for prostate cancer, and the whole cohort had a 91 percent probability of remaining under surveillance for two years, and a 75 percent probability for five years' active surveillance, the investigators found. Those most likely to require treatment had cancer on the second biopsy and a higher number of cancerous cores.

"Of the 43 patients undergoing delayed treatment, 41 (95 percent) are without disease progression at a median of 23 months following treatment," the authors write. "Active surveillance for select patients appears to be safe and associated with a low risk of systemic progression.

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