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Video: PCa in older men, is it really low-grade disease?


Initial management of prostate-specific antigen-detected, low-risk prostate cancer and the risk of death from prostate cancer

Ayal A. Aizer*, Ming-Hui Chen, Jona Hattangadi* and Anthony V. D’Amico

*Harvard Radiation Oncology Program, Boston, MA, Department of Radiation Oncology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, and, Department of Statistics, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA


• To evaluate whether older age in men with low-risk prostate cancer increases the risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM) when non-curative approaches are selected as initial management.


• The study cohort consisted of 27 969 men, with a median age of 67 years, with prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-detected, low-risk prostate cancer (clinical category T1c, Gleason score ≤6, and PSA ≤10) identified by the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results programme between 2004 and 2007.

• Fine and Gray’s competing risk regression analysis was used to evaluate whether management with non-curative vs curative therapy was associated with an increased risk of PCSM after adjusting for PSA level, age at diagnosis and year of diagnosis.


• After a median follow-up of 2.75 years, 1121 men died, 60 (5.4%) from prostate cancer.

• Both older age (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] 1.05; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02–1.08; P < 0.001) and non-curative treatment (AHR 3.34; 95% CI 1.97–5.67; P < 0.001) were significantly associated with an increased risk of PCSM.

• Men > the median age experienced increased estimates of PCSM when treated with non-curative as opposed to curative intent (P< 0.001); this finding was not seen in men ≤ the median age (P = 0.17).


• Pending prospective validation, our study suggests that non-curative approaches for older men with ‘low-risk’ prostate cancer result in an increased risk of PCSM, suggesting the need for alternative approaches to exclude occult, high grade prostate cancer in these men.


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