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Article of the week: mpMRI and follow‐up to avoid prostate biopsy in 4259 men

Every week, the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community and a video prepared by the authors. These are intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation. 

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging and follow‐up to avoid prostate biopsy in 4259 men

Wulphert Venderink*, Annemarijke van Luijtelaar*, Marloes van der Leest*, Jelle O. Barentsz*, Sjoerd F.M. Jenniskens*, Michiel J.P. Sedelaar,Christina Hulsbergen-van de Kaa, Christiaan G. Overduin* and Jurgen J. Fütterer*

*Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Department of Urology, and Department of Pathology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Abstract

Objective

To determine the proportion of men avoiding biopsy because of negative multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) findings in a prostate MRI expert centre, and to assess the number of clinically significant prostate cancers (csPCa) detected during follow‐up.

Patients and method

Retrospective study of 4259 consecutive men having mpMRI of the prostate between January 2012 and December 2017, with either a history of previous negative transrectal ultrasonography‐guided biopsy or biopsy naïve. Patients underwent mpMRI in a referral centre. Lesions were classified according to Prostate Imaging Reporting And Data System (PI‐RADS) versions 1 and 2. Negative mpMRI was defined as an index lesion PI‐RADS ≤2. Follow‐up until 13 October 2018 was collected by searching the Dutch Pathology Registry (PALGA). Gleason score ≥3 + 4 was considered csPCa. Kaplan–Meier analysis and univariable logistic regression models were used in the cohort of patients with negative mpMRI and follow‐up.

Fig. 2. Distribution of PI‐RADS scored in the entire cohort.

Results

Overall, in 53.6% (2281/4259) of patients had a lesion classified as PI‐RADS ≤2. In 320 patients with PI‐RADS 1 or 2, follow‐up mpMRI was obtained after a median (interquartile range) of 57 (41–63) months. In those patients, csPCa diagnosis‐free survival (DFS) was 99.6% after 3 years. Univariable logistic regression analysis revealed age as a predictor for csPCa during follow‐up (P < 0.05). In biopsied patients, csPCa was detected in 15.8% (19/120), 43.2% (228/528) and 74.5% (483/648) with PI‐RADS 3, 4 and 5, respectively.

Conclusion

More than half of patients having mpMRI of the prostate avoided biopsy. In those patients, csPCa DFS was 99.6% after 3 years.

Editorial: Avoiding biopsy in men with PI‐RADS scores 1 and 2 on mpMRI of the prostate, ready for prime time?

In 2019 is it safe to avoid prostate biopsy in men with Prostate Imaging Reporting and Data System (PI‐RADS) score 1 and 2 lesions reported on their multiparametric MRI (mpMRI)? In this journal, Venderink et al. [1] suggest that more than half the men being investigated for suspected prostate cancer could indeed safely avoid an initial biopsy. However, like other investigators in this field, the authors make an assumption in their study that there is such a paucity of clinically significant cancer in men with PI‐RADS 1 and 2 lesions, that biopsy is not deemed necessary, as in the PRECISION study [2]. In this study [1] from the Netherlands, of the 2281 men with an initial diagnosis of PI‐RADS 1 or 2 lesions, only 320 men had follow‐up mpMRI, and biopsies were only performed in a small number of men with PI‐RADS scores ≥ 3. Whilst one could conclude that 84% of men did not progress, based on serial imaging, one cannot prove what may have been missed.

Comparing mpMRI of the prostate to the reference standard of radical prostatectomy whole‐mount specimens, a study from the University of California, Los Angeles showed that mpMRI can potentially miss up to 35% of clinically significant cancers, and up to 20% of high grade cancers. It found that 74% of missed solitary tumours were clinically significant, including 23% with Gleason ≥4 + 3 = 7, and that 38.7% were >1 cm in diameter [3]. As such, these missed cancers were not all small, low grade and clinically insignificant. An Italian study confirmed these findings with a detection rate of clinically significant prostate cancer outside the index lesion seen on mpMRI in 30% of patients [4]. All urologists are aware that biopsy by any means can never detect all the cancers seen on formal whole‐mount histopathology, but we do have evidence using transperineal prostate mapping biopsies as the reference standard as to what may be missed. The PROMIS study [5] provides the best evidence using several definitions of clinically significant cancer. Using Gleason ≥4 + 3 or cancer core length >6 mm the negative predictive value (NPV) of a negative mpMRI was 89%. However, if the criteria were altered to any Gleason 7 cancer, the NPV falls to 76%. This is also supported by a multicentre study by Hansen et al. [6], which demonstrated that the NPV of a negative mpMRI for excluding Gleason 7–10 cancer was 80%, but improved to 91% with a PSA density of <0.1 ng/mL/mL, and to 89% with a PSA density of <0.15 ng/mL/mL. It is important to note that these studies used transperineal biopsies rather than 12‐core transrectal biopsies, suggesting the latter to be a more unreliable reference test with a greater probability of missing clinically significant cancer on systematic sampling.

Are all Gleason 3 + 4 = 7 cancers < 6 mm in core length, for example, 5 mm Gleason 3 + 4 (40%) = 7 cancer, truly clinically insignificant? If that were the case, favourable intermediate‐risk prostate cancer would have to be an accepted indication for active surveillance (AS) in men, and in most cases this is not the case. National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend that men with favourable intermediate‐risk prostate cancer should only be offered AS if the PSA is <10 ng/mL, the lesion is cT1 and the percentage of positive cores is <50%. Prostate Cancer Research International Active Surveillance (PRIAS) criteria only accept men with favourable intermediate‐risk prostate cancer if there is a maximum of two cores involved, PSA density is <0.2 ng/mL/mL, and if it represents <10% of the core. Both European Association of Urology and AUA guidelines caution that if men are offered AS with favourable intermediate‐risk disease, they should be warned of the greater risk of developing metastatic spread. It is therefore clear that major international guidelines do not fully support AS for intermediate‐risk prostate cancers and therefore it may not be acceptable to be missing Gleason 3 + 4 cancers in up to 10–20% of men with normal prostate mpMRI results.

Multiparametric MRI of the prostate has been a huge advance in prostate cancer diagnostics and is now widely used internationally, but does have limitations. Based on the available data, men who choose not to be biopsied with a normal prostate mpMRI should be warned, as part of informed consent, that a clinically significant cancer could be missed in up to 10–20% of cases (depending on PSA density) and close follow‐up should be recommended. One could easily argue that men with normal prostate mpMRI but with PSA density >0.15 ng/mL/mL should still be offered a systematic biopsy. Perhaps the future lies in the genomics of mpMRI‐visible vs ‐invisible lesions, with a recent study showing that there is a confluence of aggressive molecular and pathological features in lesions visible on MRI. Future research may be able to determine if indeed it is safe to leave some Gleason 3 + 4 = 7 cancers undetected if invisible on mpMRI because of their lack of genomic and metabolic aggression rather than based on their Gleason pattern [7].

by Mark Frydenberg

References

  1. Verderink WVan Luijtelaar AVan der Leest M et al. Multiparametric MRI and follow up to avoid prostate biopsy in 4259 men. BJU Int 2019124775– 84
  2. Kasivisvanathan ASRannikko MBorghi V et al. MRI targeted or standard biopsy for prostate cancer diagnosis. N Engl J Med 20183781767– 77
  3. Johnson DCRaman SSMirak SA et al. Detection of individual prostate cancer foci via multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging. Eur Urol 201975712– 20
  4. Stabile Adell’Oglio Pde Cobelli F et al. Association between prostate Imaging Reporting and data system (PIRADS) score for the index lesion and multifocal clinically significant prostate cancer. Eur Urol Oncol 2018129– 3336
  5. Ahmed HUBasally ABrown LC et al. Diagnostic accuracy of multiparametric MRI and TRUS biopsy in prostate cancer (PROMIS): a paired validating confirmatory study. Lancet 2017389815– 22
  6. Hansen NLBarrett TKesch C et al. Multicentre evaluation of magnetic resonance imaging supported transperineal prostate biopsy in biopsy naïve men with suspicion of prostate cancer. BJU Int 201812240– 9
  7. Houlahan KESalmasi ASadun TY et al. Molecular hallmarks of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging visibility in prostate cancer. Eur Urol 20197618– 23

 

 

Video: mpMRI and follow-up to avoid prostate biopsy in 4259 men

Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging and follow-up to avoid prostate biopsy in 4259 men

Read the full article

Abstract

Objective

To determine the proportion of men avoiding biopsy because of negative multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) findings in a prostate MRI expert centre, and to assess the number of clinically significant prostate cancers (csPCa) detected during follow‐up.

Patients and methods

Retrospective study of 4259 consecutive men having mpMRI of the prostate between January 2012 and December 2017, with either a history of previous negative transrectal ultrasonography‐guided biopsy or biopsy naïve. Patients underwent mpMRI in a referral centre. Lesions were classified according to Prostate Imaging Reporting And Data System (PI‐RADS) versions 1 and 2. Negative mpMRI was defined as an index lesion PI‐RADS ≤2. Follow‐up until 13 October 2018 was collected by searching the Dutch Pathology Registry (PALGA). Gleason score ≥3 + 4 was considered csPCa. Kaplan–Meier analysis and univariable logistic regression models were used in the cohort of patients with negative mpMRI and follow‐up.

Results

Overall, in 53.6% (2281/4259) of patients had a lesion classified as PI‐RADS ≤2. In 320 patients with PI‐RADS 1 or 2, follow‐up mpMRI was obtained after a median (interquartile range) of 57 (41–63) months. In those patients, csPCa diagnosis‐free survival (DFS) was 99.6% after 3 years. Univariable logistic regression analysis revealed age as a predictor for csPCa during follow‐up (P < 0.05). In biopsied patients, csPCa was detected in 15.8% (19/120), 43.2% (228/528) and 74.5% (483/648) with PI‐RADS 3, 4 and 5, respectively.

Conclusion

More than half of patients having mpMRI of the prostate avoided biopsy. In those patients, csPCa DFS was 99.6% after 3 years.

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