Urologists have been criticized for overtreating men with low risk prostate cancer and for passively observing older men with higher risk disease. Proponents of active surveillance for low risk disease and critics of watchful waiting for higher risk disease have advocated for more judicious use of observation. Thus, we compared 2 population based cohorts to determine how expectant management has evolved during the last 2 decades.Materials and Methods:
A total of 5,871 men with localized prostate cancer were enrolled in the PCOS (Prostate Cancer Outcomes Study) or the CEASAR (Comparative Effectiveness Analysis of Surgery and Radiation) study. We compared the use of definitive treatment vs expectant management (watchful waiting or active surveillance) across cohorts, focusing on the influence of disease risk, age and comorbidities.Results:
Use of watchful waiting or active surveillance was similar in PCOS and CEASAR (14% in each). Compared to the PCOS, more men in the CEASAR study with low risk disease selected watchful waiting or active surveillance (25% vs 15%, respectively), whereas fewer men with intermediate (7% vs 14%) and high risk (3% vs 10%) disease chose watchful waiting or active surveillance (p <0.001 for each). The association of disease risk with watchful waiting or active surveillance was significantly larger in CEASAR than in PCOS (OR 7.3, 95% CI 3.4 to 15.7). Older age was associated with watchful waiting or active surveillance in both cohorts but there was no association between comorbidity and watchful waiting or active surveillance in the CEASAR study.Conclusions:
Use of watchful waiting or active surveillance was more aligned with disease risk in CEASAR compared to PCOS, suggesting there has been a pivot from watchful waiting to active surveillance. While older men were more likely to be observed, comorbidity had little, if any, influence.