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Comparison of outcomes of different biopsy schedules among men on active surveillance for prostate cancer: An analysis of the G.A.P.3 global consortium database



The optimal interval for repeat biopsy during active surveillance (AS) for prostate cancer is yet to be defined. This study examined whether risk of upgrading (to grade group ≥ 2) or risk of converting to treatment varied according to intensity of repeat biopsy using data from the GAP3 consortium's global AS database.

Materials and methods

Intensity of surveillance biopsy schedules was categorized according to centers' protocols: (a) Prostate Cancer Research International Active Surveillance project (PRIAS) protocols with biopsies at years 1, 4, and 7 (10 centers; 7532 men); (b) biennial biopsies, that is, every other year (8 centers; 4365 men); and (c) annual biopsy schedules (4 centers; 1602 men). Multivariable Cox regression was used to compare outcomes according to biopsy intensity.


Out of the 13,508 eligible participants, 56% were managed according to PRIAS protocols (biopsies at years 1, 4, and 7), 32% via biennial biopsy, and 12% via annual biopsy. After adjusting for baseline characteristics, risk of converting to treatment was greater for those on annual compared with PRIAS biopsy schedules (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.66; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.51-1.83; p < 0.001), while risk of upgrading did not differ (HR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.84-1.10).


Results suggest more frequent biopsy schedules may deter some men from continuing AS despite no evidence of grade progression.

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