Psychological distress associated with active surveillance in patients younger than 70 with a small renal mass

Hanan Goldberg, Rami Ajaj, Jaime Omar Herrera Cáceres, Alejandro Berlin, Thenappan Chandrasekar, Zachary Klaassen, Christopher J.D. Wallis, Ardalan E. Ahmad, Ricardo Leao, Anika R. Petrella, John R. Kachura, Neil Fleshner, Andrew Matthew, Antonio Finelli, Michael A.S. Jewett, Robert J. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare the psychological distress throughout several predefined disease time points in patients younger than 70 with small renal masses (SRMs) treated with either active surveillance (AS) or ablative/surgical therapy. Methods: Using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System - revised (ESAS-r) questionnaire, we focused on psychological distress symptoms in all consecutive patients with an SRM between 2014 and 2017. We further evaluated the psychological distress sub-score (PDSS) of ESAS-r, consisting of the sum scores of anxiety, depression, and well-being. PDSS of patients treated with AS or ablation/surgery were compared at 4 distinct time points (before and after diagnosis, after a biopsy is performed, and at last follow-up). Multivariable linear regression models were performed to assess factors associated with worse PDSS (1-point score increase). Results: We examined 477 patients, of whom 217 and 260 were treated with AS and surgery/ablation, respectively. Similar ESAS-r and PDSS scores were shown at all predefined disease time points except following an SRM biopsy and at last, follow-up, where AS-treated patients with a biopsy-proven malignancy had significantly worse PDSS (11.4 vs. 6.1, P = 0.035), and (13.2 vs. 5.4, P = 0.004), respectively. At last follow-up, multivariable linear models demonstrated that a biopsy-proven malignancy (B = 2.630, 95% CI 0.024–5.236, P = 0.048) and AS strategy (B = 6.499, 95% CI 2.340–10.658, P = 0.002) were associated with worse PDSS in all patients, and in those who underwent a biopsy, respectively. Conclusions: Offering standardized psychological supportive care may be required for patients younger than 70 years on AS for SRM, especially for those with a biopsy-proven tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603.e17-603.e25
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Active surveillance
  • Edmonton Symptom Assessment System
  • Psychological distress
  • Small renal mass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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