A multi-specialty team comprised of pathologists, radiation oncologist, surgeons, and urologists published their recommendations for determining prostate cancer active surveillance in the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.
Active surveillance allows patients at low-risk for prostate cancer a way to avoid the potentially harmful adverse effects of treatment. Through active surveillance, patients would undergo regular visits with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests and repeated biopsies instead of aggressive treatment. This differs from “watchful waiting,” where treatment is withheld for localized disease and palliative treatment for systemic disease is initiated.
The new recommendations address some of the following key aspects for identifying eligible patients likely to succeed with active surveillance:
- Sampling, submission, and processing issues in needle biopsies used to diagnose prostate cancer
- Tumor extent in needle biopsies
- Biopsy reporting for all and special cases
- Gleason scores, the system for grading prostate cancer tissue based on how it looks under a microscope
- Precision medicine markers
- Other pathologic considerations
It was further concluded that these key parameters need to be reproducible, consistently reported, and surgical pathologists should emphasize the importance of accurate pathology reporting.
For more information visit CAP.org.