African American Race is Not Associated with Risk of Reclassification during Active Surveillance: Results from the Canary Prostate Cancer Active Surveillance Study

J Urol. 2020 Apr;203(4):727-733. doi: 10.1097/JU.0000000000000621. Epub 2019 Oct 25.


Purpose: In a large, prospective, multi-institutional active surveillance cohort we evaluated whether African American men are at higher risk for reclassification.

Materials and methods: The Canary PASS (Prostate Active Surveillance Study) is a protocol driven, active surveillance cohort with a prespecified prostate specific antigen and surveillance biopsy regimen. Men included in this study had Gleason Grade Group 1 or 2 disease at diagnosis and fewer than 5 years between diagnosis and enrollment, and had undergone 1 or more surveillance biopsies. The reclassification risk, defined as an increase in the Gleason score on subsequent biopsy, was compared between African American and Caucasian American men using Cox proportional hazards models. In the subset of men who underwent delayed prostatectomy the rate of adverse pathology findings, defined as pT3a or greater disease, or Gleason Grade Group 3 or greater, was compared in African American and Caucasian American men.

Results: Of the 1,315 men 89 (7%) were African American and 1,226 (93%) were Caucasian American. There was no difference in the treatment rate in African American and Caucasian American men. In multivariate models African American race was not associated with the risk of reclassification (HR 1.16, 95% CI 0.78-1.72). Of the 441 men who underwent prostatectomy after a period of active surveillance the rate of adverse pathology was similar in those who were African American and Caucasian American (46% vs 47%, p=0.99).

Conclusions: Of men on active surveillance who followed a standardized protocol of regular prostate specific antigen testing and biopsy those who were African American were not at increased risk for pathological reclassification while on active surveillance, or for adverse pathology findings at prostatectomy. Active surveillance appears to be an appropriate management strategy for African American men with favorable risk prostate cancer.

Keywords: African Americans; prostatectomy; prostatic neoplasms; risk; watchful waiting.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biopsy, Large-Core Needle / standards
  • Biopsy, Large-Core Needle / statistics & numerical data
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Kallikreins / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostate / pathology*
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatectomy / statistics & numerical data
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • United States
  • Watchful Waiting / standards
  • Watchful Waiting / statistics & numerical data*
  • White People / statistics & numerical data


  • KLK3 protein, human
  • Kallikreins
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen