Prostate Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Prostate Cancer and COVID-19: Delay in Time to Biopsy and Pathologic Findings

By: Lauren Harrison, MS
Posted: Friday, October 9, 2020

Although men who have suspicious findings of prostate cancer on multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may experience a delay in receipt of image-guided prostate biopsies due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, delay times of up to 8 months seem unlikely to affect the biopsy results. Roy Mano, MD, of Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel, and colleagues published these findings in Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations.

The team conducted a retrospective study reviewing medical records from 195 patients who underwent image-guided transperineal fusion biopsy of the prostate between 2017 and 2019 at the researchers’ institution. The patients underwent biopsy for prostate cancer as a result of an elevated PSA level or abnormal digital rectal examination. Patient and tumor characteristics were compared between patients who underwent biopsy less than 3 months or more than 3 months after identification of a lesion on multiparametric MRI.

The median time between multiparametric MRI and biopsy was 5 months, with 90% of patients experiencing a delay of up to 8 months. About 30% had a biopsy within 3 months, whereas nearly 70% had a biopsy more than 5 months after the multiparametric MRI results. Patients who had never had a biopsy of the prostate had a higher rate of early biopsies compared with late biopsies (51% vs. 30%). Patients who had an early biopsy had a significantly higher rate of Prostate Imaging-Reporting and Data System (PI-RADS) 5 lesions (32% vs. 13%). Additionally, 22% of patients in the entire cohort underwent radical prostatectomy, with no significant difference noted in pathologic variables between those who had earlier or later biopsies. Of note, multivariable logistic regression analyses showed that delay in biopsy time was not associated with patients having significant cancer or any cancer (odds ratio = 1.04 and 0.91, respectively).

Disclosure: The authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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