PURPOSE: The current COVID-19 pandemic is transforming our urologic practice and most urologic societies recommend to defer any surgical treatment for prostate cancer (PCa) patients. It is unclear whether a delay between diagnosis and surgical management (i.e., surgical delay) may have a detrimental effect on oncologic outcomes of PCa patients. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of surgical delay on oncologic outcomes.
METHODS: Data of 926 men undergoing radical prostatectomy across Europe for intermediate and high-risk PCa according to EAU classification were identified. Multivariable analysis using binary logistic regression and Cox proportional hazard model tested association between surgical delay and upgrading on final pathology, lymph-node invasion (LNI), pathological locally advanced disease (pT3-4 and/or pN1), need for adjuvant therapy, and biochemical recurrence. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to estimate BCR-free survival after surgery as a function of surgical delay using a 3 month cut-off.
RESULTS: Median follow-up and surgical delay were 26 months (IQR 10-40) and 3 months (IQR 2-5), respectively. We did not find any significant association between surgical delay and oncologic outcomes when adjusted to pre- and post-operative variables. The lack of such association was observed across EAU risk categories.
CONCLUSION: Delay of several months did not appear to adversely impact oncologic results for intermediate and high-risk PCa, and support an attitude of deferring surgery in line with the current recommendation of urologic societies.