Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer: Past, Current, and Future Trends

Ivo I. de Vos*, Henk B. Luiting, Monique J. Roobol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)


In response to the rising incidence of indolent, low-risk prostate cancer (PCa) due to increased prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening in the 1990s, active surveillance (AS) emerged as a treatment modality to combat overtreatment by delaying or avoiding unnecessary definitive treatment and its associated morbidity. AS consists of regular monitoring of PSA levels, digital rectal exams, medical imaging, and prostate biopsies, so that definitive treatment is only offered when deemed necessary. This paper provides a narrative review of the evolution of AS since its inception and an overview of its current landscape and challenges. Although AS was initially only performed in a study setting, numerous studies have provided evidence for the safety and efficacy of AS which has led guidelines to recommend it as a treatment option for patients with low-risk PCa. For intermediate-risk disease, AS appears to be a viable option for those with favourable clinical characteristics. Over the years, the inclusion criteria, follow-up schedule and triggers for definitive treatment have evolved based on the results of various large AS cohorts. Given the burdensome nature of repeat biopsies, risk-based dynamic monitoring may further reduce overtreatment by avoiding repeat biopsies in selected patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number629
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2023

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© 2023 by the authors.


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