Family History Does Not Exclude Active Surveillance as Treatment Option for Prostate Cancer

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Evidence suggest that having a family history of prostate cancer should not automatically exclude men from active surveillance consideration, although questions remain.
Evidence suggest that having a family history of prostate cancer should not automatically exclude men from active surveillance consideration, although questions remain.

An analysis of the available literature suggests that a family history of prostate cancer does not appear to be associated with more aggressive forms of prostate cancer and may not be an excluding factor when determining eligibility for active surveillance. The results were published in BJU International.1

According to the abstract, low-grade prostate cancers are being monitored with active surveillance more often. However, whether a family history of prostate cancer should be considered when deciding to pursue active surveillance is not clear.

James Michael Dupree IV, MD, an assistant professor of urology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues conducted a literature search to better understand the role of family history in the progression of prostate cancer in patients undergoing active surveillance.

Their analysis included 6 of 536 reviewed publications. The investigators found no relationship between a family history of prostate cancer and an increased risk of prostate cancer progression with the exception of one study. A family history of prostate cancer was associated with an increased risk of progression in blacks, according to the current study abstract.1

"Our results suggest that having a family history of prostate cancer should not automatically exclude men from being considered for active surveillance treatments, although some questions remain about risks for African American men with a family history of prostate cancer," Dr Dupree said in a statement.

"Men obviously need to have thorough conversations with their doctors about risks, benefits, and options, and more research needs to be done to confirm these findings, especially among African American men," Dr Dupree continued.2

References

1. Telang JM, Lane BR, Cher ML, Miller DC, Dupree JM. Prostate cancer, family history, and eligibility for active surveillance: a systematic review of the literature {published online March 29, 2017]. BJU Int. doi:10.1111/bju.13862

2. Are men with a family history of prostate cancer eligible for active surveillance? [news release] Wiley Newsroom; April 6, 2017. http://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/bju-international/are-men-family-history-prostate-cancer-eligible-active-surveillance. Accessed April 20, 2017. 
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