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Original article

Vol. 153 No. 7 (2023)

Retrospective analysis of the uptake of active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer in Zurich, Switzerland

Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2023;153:40103


OBJECTIVES: Active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer closely monitors patients conservatively instead of the pursuit of active treatment to reduce overtreatment of insignificant disease. Since 2009, active surveillance has been recommended as the primary management option in the European Association of Urology guidelines for low-risk disease. The present study aimed to investigate the use and uptake of active surveillance over 10 years in our certified prostate cancer centre (University Hospital of Zurich) compared with those derived from the cancer registry of the canton of Zurich, Switzerland.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively identified all men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer at our institution and from the cancer registry of the canton of Zurich from 2009 to 2018. The primary treatment of each patient was recorded. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the use of different treatments in our centre. The results were compared with those derived from the cancer registry.

RESULTS: A total of 3393 men with low-risk prostate cancer were included in this study (University Hospital of Zurich: n = 262; cancer registry: n = 3131). In the University Hospital of Zurich and cancer registry cohorts, 146 (55.7%) and 502 (16%) men underwent active surveillance, respectively. The proportions of local treatment [115 (43.9%) vs 2220 (71%)] and androgen deprivation therapy [0 (0%) vs 43 (1.4%)] were distinctly lower in the University Hospital of Zurich cohort than in the cancer registry cohort. The uptake of active surveillance over the years was high in the University Hospital of Zurich cohort (35.4% in 2009 and 88.2% in 2018) but only marginal in the cancer registry cohort (12.2% in 2009 and 16.2% in 2018).

CONCLUSION: Despite clear guideline recommendations, active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer is still widely underused. Our analysis showed that access to a certified interdisciplinary tumour board significantly increases the use of active surveillance.


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