Background: Radical prostatectomy reduces mortality among patients with localised prostate cancer. Evidence on whether different surgical techniques can affect mortality rates is lacking. Objective: To evaluate functional and oncological outcomes 8 yr after robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP) and open retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP). Design, setting, and participants: We enrolled 4003 patients in a prospective, controlled, nonrandomised trial comparing RALP and RRP in 14 Swedish centres between 2008 and 2011. Data for functional outcomes were assessed via validated patient questionnaires administered preoperatively and at 12 and 24 mo and 8 yr after surgery. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: The primary endpoint was urinary incontinence. Functional outcomes at 8 yr were analysed using the modified Poisson regression approach. Results and limitations: Urinary incontinence was not significantly different at 8 yr after surgery between RALP and RRP (27% vs 29%; adjusted risk ratio [aRR] 1.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.90–1.23). Erectile dysfunction was significantly lower in the RALP group (66% vs 70%; aRR 0.93, 95% CI 0.87–0.99). Prostate cancer–specific mortality (PCSM) was significantly lower in the RALP group at 8 yr after surgery (40/2699 vs 25/885; aRR 0.56, 95% CI 0.34–0.93). Differences in oncological outcomes were mainly seen in the group with high D'Amico risk, with a lower risk of positive surgical margins (21% vs 34%), biochemical recurrence (51% vs 69%), and PCSM (14/220 vs 11/77) for RALP versus RRP. The main limitation is the nonrandomised design. Conclusions: In this prospective multicentre controlled trial, PCSM at 8 yr after surgery was lower for RALP in comparison to RRP. A causal relationship between surgical technique and mortality cannot be inferred, but the result confirms that RALP is oncologically safe. Taken together with better short-term results reported elsewhere, our findings confirm that implementation of RALP may continue. Patient summary: Our study comparing two surgical techniques for removal of the prostate for localised prostate cancer shows that a robot-assisted minimally invasive technique is safe in the long term. Together with previous results showing some better short-term effects with this approach, our findings support continued use of robot-assisted surgery.
- Erectile dysfunction
- Open radical prostatectomy
- Prostate cancer
- Prostate cancer–specific death
- Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy