MASSDEVICE ON CALL —Appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study concluded that aggressive surgical treatment, the standard approach for prostate cancer treatment in the U.S., may only be necessary for patients with high-risk diseases.
Removal of the gland barely increased the likelihood for survival in patients with low-risk tumors, researchers found, and surgical removal of the prostate "may be neither necessary nor effective" in many cases.
Patients with more serious tumors, based on prostate-specific antigen testing, were better candidates for surgery, according to the study’s authors.
The study, which has been making the rounds at medical conferences for more than a year without publication, have raised a lot of eyebrows and may bode ill for device makers like Intuitive Surgical, which has already seen prostatectomy procedures dropping gradually over the last few quarters.
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