Active surveillance for localized prostate cancer--current practices and recommendations

ScientificWorldJournal. 2010 Dec 14;10:2352-61. doi: 10.1100/tsw.2010.227.


Prostate cancer is now the most commonly diagnosed solid tumor in American men, due in part to widespread screening and aggressive diagnostic practices. Prostate cancer autopsy studies show the uniquely high prevalence rates of small, indolent tumors in men dying of other causes. These findings have led to increased concern for the over detection and overtreatment of prostate cancer. Active surveillance for prostate cancer allows one to limit prostate cancer treatment with concomitant risks of treatment-related morbidity to the men who will benefit the most from aggressive therapies. Several tools have been developed in treated and surveyed men to assist physicians in selecting men with potentially indolent tumors amenable to active surveillance. Recent published results describe institutional experiences with active surveillance and delayed selective therapy for men with low-grade, early prostate cancer. Although median follow-up from these studies is relatively short, the outcomes appear favorable. Data from these reports provide information for selecting men for this approach, as well as for following them over time and determining triggers for further intervention. Ongoing clinical trials with watchful waiting and active surveillance for prostate cancer will ultimately provide improved evidence for managing early, localized disease.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / analysis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • United States


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen