Rethinking active surveillance for prostate cancer in African American men

Gabriel Z. Leinwand, Andrew T. Gabrielson, Louis S. Krane, Jonathan L. Silberstein


Active surveillance (AS) is a treatment modality for prostate cancer that aims to simultaneously avoid overtreatment and allow for the timely intervention of localized disease. AS has become the de facto standard of care for most men with low-risk prostate cancer. However, few African American (AA) men were included in the prospective observational cohorts that resulted in a paradigm shift in treatment recommendations from active intervention toward AS. It has been established that AA men have an increased prostate cancer incidence, higher baseline prostate-specific antigen (PSA) values, more aggressive prostate cancer features, greater frequency of biochemical recurrence after treatment, and higher overall cancer-specific mortality compared to their Caucasian counterparts. As such, this has given many physicians pause before initiating AS for AA patients. In the following manuscript, we will review the available literature regarding AS, with a particular focus on AA men. The preponderance of evidence demonstrates that AS is as viable a management method for AA with low-risk prostate cancer as it is with other racial groups.