Active surveillance: Does serial prostate biopsy increase histological inflammation?

A. S. Glass, S. P. Porten, M. Bonham, T. C. Tran, J. E. Cowan, S. Punnen, J. M. Chan, P. R. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background:Active surveillance (AS) is an appropriate management strategy for men with low-risk prostate cancer. Most protocols recommend repeated prostate biopsy every 12-24 months. The purpose of this paper is to describe histological inflammation patterns in men on AS who underwent serial prostate biopsy for disease monitoring.Methods:We reviewed records of men on AS from January 1999 through February 2011 who had a diagnostic plus ≥1 repeat transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsies performed at our institution. The type and degree of inflammatory infiltrate were grossly reviewed and scored for each patient's biopsy by a single pathologist. Relationship of inflammation severity and number of serial biopsies was assessed using a repeated measures mixed model. Unpaired t-test and χ 2 -square analysis assessed variance in degree of inflammation and location of inflammation relative to cancer grade progression defined as Gleason sum increase.Results:Fifty-six men met study inclusion criteria. Mean age was 62.1 (6.5) years, 71% were stage cT1c, 79% had a PSA level <10 ng ml -1, and 98% had diagnostic Gleason sum ≤6. A small, statistically significant increase in maximum chronic inflammation (CI) scores with greater number of repeat biopsies was observed. CI scores were not associated with number of biopsies based on upgrade status. The main limitation to our study is our small sample size. Potential unmeasured confounders, such as unreported antibiotic use or symptomatic prostatitis, may have also affected our findings.Conclusions:In this pilot study of 56 men on AS for localized prostate cancer, degree of chronic histological inflammation increased with greater number of prostate biopsies, but was not associated with subsequent risk of grade progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-169
Number of pages5
JournalProstate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • active surveillance
  • chronic inflammation
  • prostate biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology
  • Cancer Research


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