(HealthDay News) — Using 3D virtual reality (VR) models for planning radical prostatectomy in prostate cancer patients may improve some oncologic outcomes, according to a study published online July 18 in The Journal of Urology.
Joseph D. Shirk, M.D., from University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues evaluated surgical outcomes for robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy when surgeons reviewed 3D VR models for operative planning.
The analysis included outcomes from 92 patients who were randomly assigned to usual preoperative planning with prostate biopsy results and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) only (control group) or to an MRI and biopsy results plus a 3D VR model (intervention group).
The researchers found a lower positive margin rate in the intervention group versus the control group (25 versus 33 percent), but the difference was not statistically significant. There was no significant difference seen in functional outcomes and no difference in traditional operative metrics.
In the intervention group, detectable postoperative prostate-specific antigen was significantly lower (31 versus 9 percent). The surgeons in the intervention group modified their operative plan in 32 percent of cases based on the model. Compared with the control group, for this subset with modified operative plans, there was a strong trend toward increased bilateral nerve sparing (78 versus 92 percent) and a significant difference in postoperative detectable prostate-specific antigen (31 versus 0 percent).
“The 3D VR models augment the surgeon’s ability to deliver excellent surgical care by addressing key limitations in the current imaging and surgical planning standard of care, allowing this operation to be performed with a more refined balance of oncologic and nononcologic outcomes,” the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to Medtronic, Ceevra, Intuitive Surgical, and/or Proximie.