Recurrence Risk after Prostatectomy Lower with Experienced Surgeons

July 25, 2007

NEW YORK -- For clinically localized prostate cancer, the experience of the surgeon doing a radical prostatectomy may play a major role in avoiding a biochemical relapse, according to investigators here.

NEW YORK, July 25 -- For clinically localized prostate cancer, the experience of the surgeon doing a radical prostatectomy may play a major role in avoiding a biochemical relapse, according to investigators here.

Surgeons with at least a 250-case experience had a biochemical relapse rate of 10.7%, compared with 17.9% for surgeons with a 10-case experience (P

Prevalence of non-organ confined cancer ranged from 24% in the most experienced group to 33% in the least experienced (P

A sensitivity analysis revealed consistent findings across a wide range of variables. In particular, the results did not differ when the analysis was limited to patients treated after 1995, when prostate cancer stage migration attributable to the advent of PSA screening had largely ended.

"The difference in outcome among patients who were treated by surgeons who were at different points on the learning curve is of clear clinical relevance," Dr. Vickers and colleagues concluded. "These findings likely reflect a true relationship between surgical technique and cancer control."