September 29, 2015 – Active Surveillance


Anchor lead: What are the options for men with low risk prostate cancer? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Men with low risk prostate cancer can be safely monitored carefully over time, with intervention undertaken only if their cancer begins to look threatening, a long term Johns Hopkins study has shown. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center and a prostate cancer expert, describes the study.

Nelson: They took almost 1300 men who they followed very carefully, this was to monitor these men with blood tests for serum prostate specific antigen and another biopsy perhaps if needed, and what they found was among men with very low risk disease only two men in the whole study died of prostate cancer so the chance of dying of prostate cancer was almost zero, if you look at the whole cohort, 69% if the men lived 15 years, that’s because they were more threatened by other health maladies, like cardiovascular disease.   :30

Nelson says men are carefully selected for so-called active surveillance, previously known as watchful waiting.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.