Using 3D virtual reality (VR) models for planning radical prostatectomy in prostate cancer patients may improve some oncologic outcomes, according to a study published in The Journal of Urology. Joseph D. Shirk, MD, 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 MRI only (control group) or to an MRI and biopsy results plus a 3D VR model (intervention group). A lower positive margin rate in the intervention group versus the control group (25% vs 33%) was observed, but the difference was not statistically significant. No significant difference was seen in functional outcomes and no difference was seen in traditional operative metrics. However, in the intervention group, detectable postoperative prostate-specific antigen (PSA) was significantly lower (31% vs 9%). Compared with the control group, for this subset with modified operative plans, there was a strong trend toward increased bilateral nerve sparing (78% vs 92%) and a significant difference in postoperative detectable PSA (31% vs 0%).
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