Pathologic upgrading in favorable intermediate risk active surveillance patients: Clinical heterogeneity and implications for active surveillance decision

Rashid K. Sayyid, William C. Reed, John Z. Benton, Atul Lodh, Phillip Woodruff, Joshua H. Lambert, Martha K. Terris, Christopher J.D. Wallis, Zachary Klaassen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Current guidelines support active surveillance (AS) for select patients with favorable intermediate risk (FIR) prostate cancer (CaP). A significant proportion of FIR CaP patients undergoing surgical treatment are found to have evidence of adverse pathology. Our objective was to determine the incidence and predictors of pathologic upgrading in FIR AS patients undergoing radical prostatectomy. Materials and methods: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Prostate with Watchful Waiting (WW) database was used to identify men younger than 80 years with National Comprehensive Cancer Network FIR CaP initially opting for AS and/or WW between 2010 and 2015 and subsequently underwent radical prostatectomy at least one year following diagnosis. Patients were assigned into one of three subgroups based on their intermediate risk factor: Gleason Score 7(3 + 4) (Group 1), prostate specific antigen level of 10-20 ng/ml (Group 2), and cT2b-c (Group 3). Pathologic upgrading was present in Group 1 if pathologic GS was 7 (4 + 3) or worse. For patients in Groups 2 and 3, upgrading occurred if pathologic GS was 7 (3 + 4) or worse. Oncologic and sociodemographic predictors of pathologic upgrading were evaluated univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis. Results: 18,760 patients were identified. Pathologic upgrading occurred in 138 (13.3%), 59 (25.0%), and 8,011 (45.8%) patients in groups 1, 2, and 3 respectively. Pathologic downgrading occurred in 226 (21.7%) patients in group 1. Significant predictors of pathologic upgrading on multivariable analysis included older age at diagnosis: 70 to 79 vs. 40 to 49 years (Groups 1 and 3, P < 0.05), a more recent diagnosis: 2014 to2015 vs. 2010-2011 (Groups 2 and 3, P < 0.005), higher volume disease: 37.5% to 49.9% vs. 0% to 12.4% (Groups 2 and 3, P < 0.005), and clinically palpable disease (Groups 1 and 2, P < 0.05). Additional risk factors for upgrading included uninsured or Medicaid status, diagnosis in a Western region (Group 2), African American ethnicity and higher socioeconomic status (Group 3) Conclusions: FIR CaP is a clinically heterogeneous risk group with incidence of pathologic upgrading ranging from 13.3% in those with GS 7 (3 + 4) to 45.8% in those with cT2b-c disease. Risk of pathologic upgrading in FIR CaP patients initially managed with AS and/or WW is significantly associated with multiple patient-level oncologic and sociodemographic variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)782.e7-782.e14
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Active surveillance
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radical prostatectomy
  • Upgrading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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