Superior Biochemical Recurrence and Long-term Quality-of-life Outcomes Are Achievable with Robotic Radical Prostatectomy After a Long Learning Curve-Updated Analysis of a Prospective Single-surgeon Cohort of 2206 Consecutive Cases.Eur Urol. 2018 05; 73(5):664-671.EU
Our earlier analysis suggested that robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) achieved superiority over open radical prostatectomy (ORP) in terms of positive surgical margin (PSM) rates and functional outcomes.
With larger sample size and longer follow-up, the objective of this study update is to assess whether our previous findings are upheld and whether the improved PSM rates for RARP after an initial learning curve compared with ORP-as observed in our earlier analysis-ultimately resulted in improved biochemical control.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Prospective observational study comparing two surgical techniques; 2271 consecutive men underwent RARP (1520) or ORP (751) at a single centre from 2006 to 2016.
OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS
Demographic and clinicopathological data were prospectively collected. The EPIC-QOL questionnaire was administered at baseline and 1.5, 3, 6, 12, and 24 mo. Multivariate linear regression modelled the difference in quality of life (QOL) domains against case number; logistic and Cox regression modelled the differences in PSM and biochemical recurrence (BCR) hazard ratios (HR), respectively.
RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS
A total of 2206 men were included in BCR/PSM analysis and 1045 consented for QOL analysis. Superior pT2 surgical margins, early and late sexual outcomes, and early urinary outcomes were upheld and became more robust (narrowing of 95% confidence intervals [CIs]). The risk of BCR was initially higher for RARP, improved after 191 RARPs, and was 35% lower (hazard ratio [HR] 0.65, 95% CI 0.47-0.90) at final RARP, plateauing after 226 RARPs. Improved late (12-24 mo) urinary bother scores (adjusted mean difference [AMD]=4.7, 95% CI 1.3-8.0) and irritative-obstructive scores (AMD=3.8, 95% CI 0.9-5.6) at final RARP were demonstrated. Limitations include observational single surgeon data, possible residual confounding, and short follow-up.
The results from this updated analysis demonstrate that RARP can be beneficial for patients of high-volume surgeons, although more randomised studies and studies with survival outcomes are needed.
Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy was able to improve functional and oncological outcomes in this single surgeon's learning curve.