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Sarcopenia shows no impact on outcomes after radical prostatectomy

Key clinical point: Men with prostate cancer who underwent radical prostatectomies showed a range of skeletal muscle mass measures, but these had no apparent impact on early functional outcomes.

Major finding: The average skeletal muscle index (SMI) of the patients was 54.06 cm2/m2; 73 patients were considered non-sarcopenic and 26 were considered sarcopenic. Sarcopenia had no apparent impact on erectile function, continence, or biochemical recurrence in multivariate analysis.

Study details: The data come from a retrospective study of 99 men with prostate cancer who underwent radical prostatectomy between November 2016 and April 2017 at a single center in Germany.

Disclosures: The study received no outside funding. The researchers had no financial conflicts to disclose.


“Sarcopenia has been associated with adverse outcomes in patients with advanced cancers. However, little is known about the effects sarcopenia may have on patients with localized prostate cancer treated with curative intent. In this retrospective study, Angerer et al assessed patients for sarcopenia utilizing skeletal mass cross-sectional area measurements at the level of the third lumbar spine on computed tomography imaging. Approximately 26% of patients met the imaging criteria for sarcopenia, but no correlation was observed between sarcopenia and cancer stage, Gleason score, or urine incontinence at one year post treatment. While not correlated with outcomes, sarcopenia was observed in a significant number of patients. Selection bias is a significant possibility in a retrospective study, so a significantly larger prospective study would be needed to better assess any potential association between sarcopenia and outcomes in patients with localized prostate cancer.”

Mark Klein, MD


Angerer M et al. Front Surg. 2021 Feb 3. doi: 10.3389/fsurg.2020.620714.