Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy vs laparoscopic and open retropubic radical prostatectomy: functional outcomes 18 months after diagnosis from a national cohort study in England.Br J Cancer. 2018 02 20; 118(4):489-494.BJ
Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) has been rapidly adopted without robust evidence comparing its functional outcomes against laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP) or open retropubic radical prostatectomy (ORP) approaches. This study compared patient-reported functional outcomes following RARP, LRP or ORP.
All men diagnosed with prostate cancer in England during April - October 2014 who underwent radical prostatectomy were identified from the National Prostate Cancer Audit and mailed a questionnaire 18 months after diagnosis. Group differences in patient-reported sexual, urinary, bowel and hormonal function (EPIC-26 domain scores) and generic health-related quality of life (HRQoL; EQ-5D-5L scores), with adjustment for patient and tumour characteristics, were estimated using linear regression.
In all, 2219 men (77.0%) responded; 1310 (59.0%) had RARP, 487 (21.9%) LRP and 422 (19.0%) ORP. RARP was associated with slightly higher adjusted mean EPIC-26 sexual function scores compared with LRP (3·5 point difference; 95% CI: 1.1-5.9, P=0.004) or ORP (4.0 point difference; 95% CI: 1.5-6.5, P=0.002), which did not meet the threshold for a minimal clinically important difference (10-12 points). There were no significant differences in other EPIC-26 domain scores or HRQoL.
It is unlikely that the rapid adoption of RARP in the English NHS has produced substantial improvements in functional outcomes for patients.