Sexual function with localized prostate cancer: active surveillance vs radical therapy.

BJU international

PubMedID: 22260273

van den Bergh RC, Korfage IJ, Roobol MJ, Bangma CH, De Koning HJ, Steyerberg EW, Essink-Bot ML. Sexual function with localized prostate cancer: active surveillance vs radical therapy. BJU Int. 2012;110(7):1032-9.
UNLABELLED
Study Type - Outcomes (cohort sample) Level of Evidence 2b. What's known on the subject? and What does the study add? The study compares the sexual function of men with low-risk prostate cancer who chose active surveillance (expectant management) with similar men who received radiation therapy or radical prostatectomy. The first group appeared to be sexually active more frequently and had less erectile dysfunction. The study was non-randomized. No other studies exist on the effect of active surveillance on sexual function vs other treatment methods.

OBJECTIVE
To compare sexual function of men with localized prostate cancer (PCa) on active surveillance (AS) with similar patients who received radical therapy.

PATIENTS AND METHODS
Two groups of men with screening-detected localized PCa were compared. The first were men on AS within the prospective protocol-based Prostate Cancer Research International: Active Surveillance study. The second were men participating in the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer study who had received radical prostatectomy (RP) or radiation therapy (RT). • Questionnaires were completed at two different timepoints after diagnosis or treatment (6 and 12-18 months). These contained 10 items on sexual function, the mental and physical component summary from the Short-Form 12-item health survey, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale depression measure and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory general anxiety measure. • Sexual function was compared between groups, and determinants were analysed in multivariable analysis, adjusting for baseline differences.

RESULTS
A total of 65-68% of men on AS, 35-36% of those who underwent RP, 36-37% of those who underwent RT and 36% of men in the RP and RT groups combined (combined Tx) were sexually active. • A total of 20-30% of men in the AS group, 86-91% of men in the RP group, 56-60% of men in the RT group and 71-76% of men in the combined Tx group were sexually inactive as a result of erectile dysfunction. • A total of 44-51% of men in the AS group, 96% of men in the RP group, 73-76% of men in the RT group and 84-85% of men in the combined Tx group who were sexually active had problems getting or keeping an erection. • In multivariable analysis these differences were significant, except for AS vs RT.

CONCLUSIONS
Men with localized PCa on AS were more often sexually active than similar men who received radical therapy, especially RP. If not sexually active, this was less often attributable to erectile dysfunction for those on AS. If sexually active, this was less often associated with problems getting or keeping an erection for those on AS. • The study was non-randomized; the latest advances in RP and RT might impact results.