Newswire (Published: Thursday, June 13, 2019, Received: Thursday, June 13, 2019, 5:59:54 PM CDT)
Word Count: 661
2019 JUN 13 (NewsRx) -- By a
The findings, presented
“Active surveillance has rigorous guidelines -- people need regular PSA tests, they need prostate exams, they need prostate biopsies so you can watch the cancer very closely, and you don’t lose the opportunity to treat the cancer when it starts to grow,” said UNC Lineberger’s
Data have shown that active surveillance is safe, but UNC Lineberger researchers note that those data have been drawn from clinical trials or studies in large academic institutions. To evaluate monitoring in a broad population, they studied a group of patients from
In the first six months, 67 percent of patients had received a PSA test, and 70 percent received a digital rectal exam. Just 35 percent received a biopsy within the first 18 months. Across all types of tests by 24 months, only 15 percent of patients received monitoring compliant with the guidelines.
“Based off of the NCCN guidelines, which is what we believe most of the community practices would be following in terms of active surveillance guidelines, we’re finding very few patients who elected to undergo active surveillance actually received the recommended monitoring,” said the study’s first author
Researchers also reported they did not find any variables, such as income, race or age, linked with whether or not patients would adhere to the monitoring guidelines. The findings led researchers to call for more research into outcomes for active surveillance outside of controlled studies.
“This raises the question of whether we need to investigate whether active surveillance is a safe option when patients do not receive routine monitoring,” Chen said. “Our goal is not to reduce the number of patients choosing active surveillance; rather, the results of this study should increase awareness and efforts to ensure that active surveillance patients are monitored rigorously.”
Researchers also analyzed trends linked to patients who stopped active surveillance and started treatment. In addition to finding that disease progression motivated patients to switch to treatment, they found that a patient’s level of anxiety was linked to whether or not they stopped active surveillance and switched to treatment.
“When we looked at some of the reasons why people would have treatment instead of active surveillance, anxiety seems to be one of the reasons why people have treatment and stop active surveillance,” Chen said.
In addition to Chen, other authors included
The study was supported by the
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