Adherence to Active Surveillance Protocols for Low-risk Prostate Cancer: Results of the Movember Foundation's Global Action Plan Prostate Cancer Active Surveillance Initiative.


Active surveillance (AS) enrolment criteria and follow-up schedules for low-risk prostate cancer vary between institutions. However, uncertainty remains about adherence to these protocols.

To determine adherence to institution-specific AS inclusion criteria and follow-up schedules within the Movember Foundation's Global Action Plan Prostate Cancer Active Surveillance (GAP3) initiative.

We retrospectively assessed the data of 15 101 patients from 25 established AS cohorts worldwide between 2014 and 2016.

Adherence to individual AS inclusion criteria was rated on a five-point Likert scale ranging from poor to excellent. Nonadherence to follow-up schedules was defined as absence of repeat biopsy 1 yr after the scheduled date. Cohorts were pooled into annual and Prostate Cancer Research International: Active Surveillance (PRIAS)-based biopsy schedules, and a generalised linear mixed model was constructed to test for nonadherence.

Serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) inclusion criteria were followed in 92%, Gleason score (GS) criteria were followed in 97%, and the number of positive biopsy cores was followed in 94% of men. Both age and tumour stage (T stage) criteria had 99% adherence overall. Pooled nonadherence rates increased over time-8%, 16%, and 34% for annual schedules and 11%, 30%, and 29% for PRIAS-based schedules at 1, 4, and 7 yr, respectively-and did not differ between biopsy schedules. A limitation is that our results do not consider the use of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging.

In on-going development of evidence-based AS protocols, variable adherence to PSA and GS inclusion criteria should be considered. Repeat biopsy adherence reduces with increased duration of surveillance, independent of biopsy frequency. This emphasises the importance of risk stratification at the commencement of AS.

We studied adherence to active surveillance protocols for prostate cancer worldwide. We found that inclusion criteria were generally followed well, but adherence to repeat biopsy reduced with time. This should be considered when optimising future active surveillance protocols.

  • Bangma CH
  • Fahey M
  • Frydenberg M
  • Gnanapragasam V
  • Harkin T
  • Helleman J
  • Kalapara AA
  • Lee LS
  • Nieboer D
  • Roobol MJ
  • Steyerberg EW
  • Van Hemelrijck M
  • Verbeek JFM
PubMed ID
Appears In
Eur Urol Oncol, 2020, 3 (1)