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Second opinion pathologic review in the management of prostate cancer
Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Feb  2021 (Vol.  28, Issue  1, Pages( 10530 - 10535)
PMID: 33625343


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  • INTRODUCTION Inter-institutional re-review of prostate needle biopsy (PNBx) material is required at many institutions before definitive treatment, but adds time and cost and may not significantly alter urologic management. We aim to determine the utility of universal PNBx re-review on influencing the decision to recommend definitive local therapy for patients with prostate cancer.


    From 2017-2020, 590 prostate biopsy specimens from outside institutions were re-reviewed at our center for patients considering prostatectomy. Clinical and pathologic characteristics from initial and secondary review were analyzed. Potential for change in treatment candidacy (CTC) was determined by re-diagnosis to non-malignant tissue or change in candidacy for active surveillance (AS) versus definitive treatment (i.e. prostatectomy or radiation therapy). Thus, the following scenarios were considered CTC: downgrading to non-malignant tissue, downgrading ISUP Grade Group (GG) ≥ 2 to GG1, and upgrading GG1 to GG ≥ 2. Any changes between GG2 to GG5 were not considered CTC, as definitive treatment would be offered to all groups.


    Overall, 55 patients (9.3%) had potential for CTC based on secondary review, all of whom had initial pathologic GG (iGG) ≤ 2. Of the 152 patients with iGG1, 8 were downgraded to no malignancy and 41 were upgraded to GG2 or GG3. Of the 185 patients with iGG2, 6 were downgraded to GG1. No patients with iGG ≥ 3 qualified for a CTC. Features associated with CTC included iGG, number of positive cores, and highest core percentage. Upon multivariable analysis, only iGG1 diagnosis was predictive of CTC (OR 23.66, p < 0.001).


    Second review may be helpful in determining need for definitive treatment in patients with GG1 and GG2 prostate cancer, i.e. those considering AS. This process appears unnecessary in GG3+ patients, as management for patients considering surgery would not change. This may allow for judicious redirection of hospital resources.