Utility of digital rectal examination in a population with prostate cancer treated with active surveillance
Introduction: Digital rectal examination (DRE) is part of the clinical evaluation of men on active surveillance (AS). The purpose of the present study is to analyze the value of DRE as a predictor of upgrading in a population of men with prostate cancer (PCa) treated with AS.
Methods: We used the prostate biopsy (PBx) database from an academic center, including PBx from 2006–2018, and identified 2029 confirmatory biopsies (CxPBx) of men treated with AS, of which 726 men had both diagnostic (initial) and CxPBx information available. We did a descriptive analysis and evaluated sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of DRE for the detection of clinically significant PCa (csPCa). Multivariable regression analysis was done to identify predictors of csPCa. The primary outcome was to evaluate DRE as a predictor of the presence of csPCa at CxPBx.
Results: Among the 2029 patients with a CxPBx, 75% had PCa, and of these, 30.3% had upgrading to International Society of Urologic Pathologists (ISUP) grade ≥2. Thirteen percent of men had a suspicious DRE (done by their treating physician). Sensitivity, specificity, negative and positive predictive values of DRE to detect csPCa were best with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) <4 ng/ml (27%, 88%, 31%, and 87%, respectively). A suspicious DRE at CxPBx, particularly if the DRE at diagnosis was negative, was a predictor of csPCa (odds ratio [OR] 2.34, p=0.038). The main limitation of our study is the retrospective design and the lack of magnetic resonance imaging.
Conclusions: We believe DRE should still be used as part of AS and can predict the presence of csPCa, even with low PSA values. A suspicious nodule on DRE represents a higher risk of upgrading and should prompt further assessment.
You, the Author(s), assign your copyright in and to the Article to the Canadian Urological Association. This means that you may not, without the prior written permission of the CUA:
- Post the Article on any Web site
- Translate or authorize a translation of the Article
- Copy or otherwise reproduce the Article, in any format, beyond what is permitted under Canadian copyright law, or authorize others to do so
- Copy or otherwise reproduce portions of the Article, including tables and figures, beyond what is permitted under Canadian copyright law, or authorize others to do so.
The CUA encourages use for non-commercial educational purposes and will not unreasonably deny any such permission request.
You retain your moral rights in and to the Article. This means that the CUA may not assert its copyright in such a way that would negatively reflect on your reputation or your right to be associated with the Article.
The CUA also requires you to warrant the following:
- That you are the Author(s) and sole owner(s), that the Article is original and unpublished and that you have not previously assigned copyright or granted a licence to any other third party;
- That all individuals who have made a substantive contribution to the article are acknowledged;
- That the Article does not infringe any proprietary right of any third party and that you have received the permissions necessary to include the work of others in the Article; and
- That the Article does not libel or violate the privacy rights of any third party.