Effect of Prior Focal Therapy on Perioperative, Oncologic and Functional Outcomes of Salvage Robotic Assisted Radical Prostatectomy

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We assessed the impact of focal therapy on perioperative, oncologic and functional outcomes in men who underwent salvage robotic assisted radical prostatectomy compared to primary robotic assisted radical prostatectomy.

Materials and Methods:

Focal therapy was performed in patients presenting with Gleason score 3 + 3 or 3 + 4, clinical stage cT2a or less, serum prostate specific antigen 15 ng/ml or less, unilateral positive biopsy, maximum length of any positive core less than 10 mm and life expectancy greater than 10 years. Focal therapy was defined as target ablation of the index lesion plus a 1 cm safety margin in the normal ipsilateral prostatic parenchyma. The salvage group included 22 men who underwent salvage prostatectomy after focal therapy failure. The primary group was defined using matched pair 1:2 selection of 44 of 2,750 patients treated with primary prostatectomy. The primary and secondary end points were the between group differences in functional and oncologic outcomes, respectively.


Complication rates were comparable (p >0.05). Pad-free probability was comparable between the groups at 1 and 2 years (p = 0.8). Recovery of erectile function was significantly lower after salvage robotic assisted radical prostatectomy (p = 0.008), which also showed a significantly lower probability of cumulative biochemical recurrence-free survival compared to primary robotic assisted radical prostatectomy (56.3% vs 92.4% at 2 years, p = 0.001). Salvage prostatectomy demonstrated a significantly increased risk of biochemical recurrence (HR 4.8, 95% CI 1.67–13.76, p = 0.004). Study limitations included the retrospective nature, the lack of randomization and the short followup.


Salvage robotic assisted radical prostatectomy after focal therapy failure is feasible with acceptable complication rates. However, patients assigned to primary focal therapy should be advised about a poorer prognosis in terms of oncologic control and lower erectile recovery rates in case of a future salvage surgery.

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