Evolving Trends in the Management of Low-Risk Prostate Cancer



      Deferred treatment is a growing management strategy for low-risk prostate cancer. However, it is unknown whether this growth is mediated by patient factors. In this study, we sought to evaluate factors associated with deferred treatment in patients with low-risk prostate cancer and shifts in these factors after recent incorporation of active surveillance into national guidelines.

      Materials and Methods

      We identified 137,915 men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer (prostate-specific antigen <10 ng/mL, Gleason score ≤6, stage cT1-cT2a) in the National Cancer Database from 2010 to 2017. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to determine factors associated with deferred treatment. Interaction variables were added to determine whether trends in use of deferred treatment over time depend on race, income, education, and insurance status.


      The use of deferred treatment among men with low-risk prostate cancer increased from 14.7% in 2010-2011 to 46.3% in 2016-2017 (P < .001). On multivariate analysis, deferred treatment was associated with older age, more contemporary year of diagnosis, black race, lower income, higher educational attainment, government insurance, being uninsured, treatment at an academic/research facility, and treatment at a facility in New England (each P < .05). Incorporation of interaction variables showed that black race, belonging to the two lowest income quartiles, government insurance, and being uninsured became less associated with deferred treatment in recent years.


      The use of deferred treatment among men with low-risk prostate cancer increased significantly from 2010 to 2017. However, patients who were black, low-income, and not privately insured experienced smaller increases in deferred treatment. Interventions to increase uptake in these groups present opportunities to improve quality of care.


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