Two Takeaways From Study on Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer

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A population-based study of men with low-risk to intermediate-risk prostate cancer found that 18 months after choosing active surveillance, only 15% were fully compliant with recommendations for active surveillance from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology.

“Our study showed two issues that are critical for active surveillance,” Ronald C. Chen, MD, MPH, who presented the study results at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting,1 stated in an interview with The ASCO Post. “One, for active surveillance, rigorous monitoring is required,” but “we found that rigorous monitoring is not being done,” Dr. Chen said.

“The other issue we found is that some patients stopped active surveillance and went on to have treatment even before the cancer grew, and anxiety was one of the major reasons we found for patients to stop active surveillance in our study,” Dr. Chen said. “Anxiety was causing patients to have unnecessary treatment, even though the cancer had not grown.” 

DISCLOSURE: Dr. Chen has served as a consultant or advisor for Accuray, Bayer, Blue Earth Diagnostics, and Medivation/Astellas; and has received research funding from Accuray.


1. Peterson S, Basak R, Moon DH, et al: Population-based cohort of prostate cancer patients on active surveillance: Guideline adherence, conversion to treatment, and decisional regret. 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting. Abstract 6512. Presented June 2, 2019.

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