Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) proved just as good as open surgery in keeping the prostate cancer under control for 10 years following the procedure, according to a new study from researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital.
Nearly 99% of the RARP patients enrolled in the study survived cancer for a decade following surgery and about 73% were recurrence-free and 97.5% of the group was metastasis-free, according to the report.
"Our [biochemical recurrence-free survival] is comparable to estimates from contemporary open cohorts," the authors wrote.
The study, which included only men with localized cancer that hasn’t spread beyond the prostate, is among the 1st to provide such long-term results for RARP.
"Until our analysis, there was little available information on the long-term oncologic outcomes for patients who undergo robot-assisted radical prostatectomy, or RARP," lead author Mireya Diaz said in prepared remarks. "As one of the very first hospitals to establish a structured RARP program a little over a decade ago, we were able to determine the long-term effectiveness of the technique thanks to the continued feedback of our patients and the follow-up efforts of the [Vattikuti Urology Institute] team."
The study included more than 480 men with localized prostate cancer who had robot-assisted surgery as a 1st-line treatment from 2001 to 2003, the early years of Henry Ford’s robot-assisted prostate surgery program. All the surgeries were conducted at the center under just 2 surgeons and the study included many low-risk patients, making it difficult to generalize the outcomes to other clinics, the authors cautioned.
The study was not affiliated with robotic surgical systems maker Intuitive Surgical (NSDQ:ISRG), but the study is good news for the company. Intuitive Surgical was recently the primary subject of a research study warning about novel technologies that require physician training and their potential for patient harm.
In a study published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. researchers warned that rapid adoption of new surgical devices may put patients in danger as doctors navigate a sometimes steep learning curve.