December 30, 2015 – Prostate Cancer Grading


Anchor lead: A new way of grading prostate cancer may help who can be safely monitored, Elizabeth Tracey reports

The Gleason score is a longstanding grading system for prostate cancer, but for most, it is so complicated to understand it is rendered almost meaningless.  Now a new grading system developed by Jonathan Epstein and colleagues at Johns Hopkins may help.

Epstein: It has the potential to impact patient selection for active surveillance, which used to be called watchful waiting for prostate cancer in that when you’re now diagnosed with tumors that are potentially treatable with active surveillance they will be give a grade that appears to the lay person to be a very low grade tumor that would be amenable to being followed, whereas currently we grade them in a way that makes these tumors appear to be more aggressive than they are, worrying patients so that it contributes to them not choosing active surveillance for their cancer.  :31

Epstein says the new system will be used alongside the Gleason score for some time to validate it in practice.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.