National Comprehensive Cancer Network® Favorable Intermediate Risk Prostate Cancer—Is Active Surveillance Appropriate?

Monty A. Aghazadeh, Jason Frankel, Matthew Belanger, Tara McLaughlin, Joseph Tortora, Ilene Staff, Joseph R. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: We compared pathological and biochemical outcomes after radical prostatectomy in patients at favorable intermediate risk who fulfilled current NCCN® (National Comprehensive Cancer Network®) Guidelines® for active surveillance criteria to outcomes in patients who met more traditional criteria for active surveillance. Materials and Methods: We queried our institutional review board approved prostate cancer database for patients who met NCCN criteria for very low risk (T1c, Grade Group 1, 3 or fewer of 12 cores, 50% or less core volume and prostate specific antigen density less than 0.15 ng/ml), low risk (T1-T2a, Grade Group 1 and prostate specific antigen less than 10 ng/ml) or favorable intermediate risk (major pattern grade 3 and less than 50% positive biopsy cores) and who had 1 intermediate risk factor, including T2b/c, Grade Group 2 or prostate specific antigen 10 to 20 ng/ml. Men at intermediate risk who did not meet favorable criteria were labeled as being at unfavorable intermediate risk. Patients at favorable intermediate risk were compared to those at very low and low risk, and those at unfavorable intermediate risk to identify differences in rates of adverse pathological findings at radical prostatectomy, including Gleason score Grade Group 3-5, nonorgan confined disease or nodal involvement. Time to biochemical recurrence was compared among the groups using Cox regression. Results: A total of 3,686 patients underwent radical prostatectomy between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2015. Of these men 1,454, 250 and 1,362 fulfilled the criteria for low, favorable intermediate and unfavorable intermediate risk, respectively. The rate of adverse pathological findings in favorable intermediate risk cases was significantly higher than in low risk cases and significantly lower than in unfavorable intermediate risk cases (27.4% vs 14.8% and 48.5%, respectively, each p <0.001). Time to biochemical recurrence differed significantly among the risk groups (p <0.001). Conclusions: Relative to men at low risk those at favorable intermediate risk represent a distinct group. Care should be taken when selecting these patients for active surveillance and monitoring them once they are in an active surveillance program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1196-1201
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018


  • local
  • neoplasm recurrence
  • prostatectomy
  • prostatic neoplasms
  • risk factors
  • watchful waiting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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