08/27/2008 - News

Surgery vs. Watchful Waiting for Prostate Cancer

By: June Chen, MD


In men with localized prostate cancer, radical prostatectomy, a surgery to remove the entire prostate gland and some surrounding tissue, reduces prostate cancer-related death compared to watchful waiting, according to a study in the most recent issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute .

Swedish investigators studied 695 men with an average age of 65 and a diagnosis of localized prostate cancer - half were treated with radical prostatectomy and half were assigned to observation, or watchful waiting. The investigators observed these men for an average follow-up period of over 10 years. They found that radical prostatectomy reduced the risk of cancer metastasis, or spread, as well as the risk of death directly related to prostate cancer. Their research also suggested that these benefits persisted for up to 10 years after the surgery.

So far, this is the only randomized trial to demonstrate the benefit of radical prostatectomy in men under the age of 75. More information should be available soon, however, from the US Prostate Cancer Intervention Versus Observation Trial.


JAMA. 2008;300:795-804..

Created on: 08/27/2008
Reviewed on: 08/27/2008

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