Comparative Analysis of Partial Gland Ablation and Radical Prostatectomy to Treat Low and Intermediate Risk Prostate Cancer: Oncologic and Functional Outcomes

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We analyzed the oncologic and functional outcomes of partial gland ablation compared with robot-assisted radical prostatectomy in patients with low and intermediate risk prostate cancer.

Materials and Methods

A total of 1,883 patients underwent robot-assisted radical prostatectomy and 373 underwent partial gland ablation from July 2009 to September 2015. We selected 1,458 of these participants for analysis, including 1,222 and 236 treated with robot-assisted radical prostatectomy and partial gland ablation, respectively. Patients had a Gleason score of 3 + 3 or 3 + 4, clinical stage T2b or less, prostate specific antigen 15 ng/dl or less, unilateral disease and life expectancy greater than 10 years. Propensity score matching analysis (1:2) was applied in the overall robot-assisted radical prostatectomy sample, which selected 472 patients for comparison. For partial gland ablation 188 men underwent high intensity focused ultrasound and 48 underwent cryotherapy. Oncologic outcomes were analyzed in terms of the need for salvage treatment. Partial gland ablation failure was defined as any positive control biopsy after treatment. Functional outcomes were assessed by validated questionnaires.


Matching was successful across the 2 groups, although men treated with partial gland ablation were older (p <0.001). Mean followup in the partial gland ablation group was 38.44 months. Partial gland ablation failure was observed in 68 men (28.8%), including 53 (28.1%) treated with high intensity focused ultrasound and 15 (31.2%) treated with cryotherapy. Partial gland ablation was associated with a higher risk of salvage treatment (HR 6.06, p <0.001). Complications were comparable between the groups (p = 0.06). Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy was associated with less continence recovery and a lower potency rate 3, 6 and 12 months after surgery (p <0.001).


In select patients with organ confined prostate cancer partial gland ablation offered good oncologic control with fewer adverse effects that required additional treatments. Potency and continence appeared to be better preserved after partial gland ablation.

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