Study suggests low-risk patients can forego immediate treatment

June 17, 2013
Julia Hayes, MD

Many men with low-risk, localized prostate cancers can safely choose active surveillance or “watchful waiting” instead of undergoing immediate treatment and have better quality of life while reducing health care costs, according to a study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Writing in the June 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, the authors said their statistical models showed that “observation is a reasonable and, in some situations, cost-saving alternative to initial treatment” for the estimated 70 percent of men whose cancer is classified as low-risk at diagnosis.

The researchers, led by Julia Hayes, MD, a medical oncologist in the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at Dana-Farber, said their findings support observation - active surveillance and watchful waiting - as a reasonable and underused option for men with low-risk disease.

Scott Gazelle was recently one of six MGH radiologists inducted as a fellow in the American College of Radiology (ACR). Only 10% of the College's 34,000 members achieve this distinction. 

 http://www.massgeneral.org/imaging/about/newsarticle.aspx?id=4161