Fusion Biopsies in Active Surveillance patients can predict prostate cancer progression risk


Men on active surveillance (AS) for prostate cancer who have negative results from a confirmatory fusion biopsy (FB) are at significantly lower risk for Gleason Grade Group progression, according to a new study.

Active surveillance has gained acceptance as an alternative to definitive therapy in many men with prostate cancer. Confirmatory biopsies to assess the appropriateness of active surveillance are routinely performed and negative biopsies are regarded as a favourable prognostic indicator. The Authors sought to determine the prognostic implications of negative multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging-transrectal ultrasound guided fusion biopsy.

All patients referred with Gleason Grade Group 1 or 2 prostate cancer based on a systematic biopsy performed elsewhere underwent confirmatory fusion biopsy. Patients who continued on active surveillance after a positive or a negative fusion biopsy were followed. The baseline characteristics of the biopsy-negative and positive cases were compared. Cox regression analysis was used to determine the prognostic significance of a negative fusion biopsy. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were used to estimate Grade Group progression with time.

Of the 542 patients referred with Grade Group 1 (466) or Grade Group 2 (76) cancer 111 (20.5%) had a negative fusion biopsy. A total of 60 vs 122 patients with a negative vs a positive fusion biopsy were followed on active surveillance with a median time to Grade Group progression of 74.3 and 44.6 months, respectively (p <0.01). Negative fusion biopsy was associated with a reduced risk of Grade Group progression (HR 0.41, 95% CI 0.22-0.77, p <0.01).

A negative confirmatory fusion biopsy confers a favourable prognosis for Grade Group progression. These results can be used when counselling patients about the risk of progression and for planning future followup and biopsies in patients on active surveillance.


Bloom JB, Hale GR, Gold SA, et al. Predictor Gleason group progression for men on prostate cancer active surveillance: Role of a negative confirmatory magnetic resonance imaging-ultrasound fusion biopsy. J Urol. 2019;201:84-90.