Analyzing the current practice patterns and views among urologists regarding focal therapy for prostate cancer

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations








Focal therapy; Multiparametric MRI; Prostate cancer; Survey


© 2018 Elsevier Inc. Introduction and objective: Focal therapy (FT) for localized prostate cancer (CaP) has been shown to have encouraging short-term oncological outcomes, excellent preservation of functional outcomes and is increasing in popularity in urologic community. We aim to evaluate the preferences and practice trends among urologists regarding this treatment strategy. Methods: A 20 item online questionnaire was designed to collect information on urologists' views and use of FT. The survey was sent to the members of the Endourological Society and the American Urological Association. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was done to determine predictors for utilization of FT. Results: A total of 425 responses were received [American Urological Association: 319, Endourological Society: 106]. Mean age of respondents was 53(SD: 11.3) years. Although half of the respondents (50.8%) believed FT to be moderate to extremely beneficial in the treatment of CaP, only 24.2% (103) of the respondents currently utilize FT in their practice. Respondents who were fellowship trained in urologic oncology were more likely to consider FT to be at least moderately beneficial (P < 0.001). Surgeon's experience (greater than 15 years in urology practice) (P = 0.025) and seeing more than 10 patients with new CaP diagnosis per month (P = 0.002) were independent predictors of FT utilization for localized CaP. While the most common setting for utilization of FT was in patients with unilateral intermediate-risk (72.8%) CaP, a small percentage of respondents also used FT for patients with unilateral high-risk CaP and bilateral intermediate risk (21.4% and 10.7%, respectively). Most common reasons for not using FT were the lack of belief in 'index lesion theory' (63.2%), lack of experience (41.3%), lack of belief in FT's efficacy (41.1%), lack of infrastructure (35.8%), difficult salvage treatment in cases of recurrence (22.7%) and high cost (21.8%). About 57.6% would use FT more often in an office or outpatient setting if they had access to reliable and cost-effective options. Conclusions: Only a quarter of our respondents utilize FT in their practice with surgeon's experience being the important independent predictor for using FT. Majority of respondents though consider FT to be beneficial in CaP management, would use it more often if provided more reliable and cost-effective options. Over time, experience and accessibility to reliable methods to perform FT may lead to further utilization of this novel treatment strategy.

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