For men with prostate cancer who are under active surveillance, repeated biopsies are associated with increased risk of infectious complications, according to research published in The Journal of Urology (2014;191:660-664).

Behfar Ehdaie, MD, of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues prospectively analyzed data for 591 consecutive patients who underwent prostate biopsy. The authors sought to assess the risk of infectious complications associated with repeat biopsies in active surveillance for prostate cancer.

The researchers found that 14 patients (3.5%) had infectious complications (some resulting in hospitalization) from prostate biopsy. Urine cultures were positive in five patients; fluoroquinolone-resistant isolates were detected in four patients, including two patients with extended spectrum beta-lactamase producing isolates. The number of previous prostate biopsies was associated with a significant 33% increased risk of infectious complications.

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“The management of men with low-risk prostate cancer on active surveillance requires serial repeat biopsies, which exposes these men to infectious complications with each biopsy,” the authors concluded. “Men with prostate cancer on active surveillance should be informed of the risks associated with serial repeat prostate biopsies.”