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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The impact of pathologic staging on the long-term oncologic outcomes of patients with clinically high-risk prostate cancer.

  • Author(s): Abern, Michael R
  • Terris, Martha K
  • Aronson, William J
  • Kane, Christopher J
  • Amling, Christopher L
  • Cooperberg, Matthew R
  • Freedland, Stephen J
  • et al.

BACKGROUND: In the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening era, approximately 15% of US men still present with clinically high-risk prostate cancer (PC). However, high-risk PC may be downgraded/downstaged at radical prostatectomy (RP), making additional therapy unnecessary. The authors tested the oncologic outcomes in men with clinically high-risk disease stratified on RP pathology. METHODS: A total of 611 men with high-risk PC (PSA level > 20 ng/mL, biopsy Gleason sum [bGS] ≥ 8, or clinical classification of ≥ T3) underwent RP and pelvic lymphadenectomy between 1998 and 2011. Outcomes included biochemical disease recurrence (BCR), receipt of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), metastases, and PC-specific and overall survival. RP pathology was classified as unfavorable (pathologic Gleason sum ≥ 8, pathologic classification of ≥ T3, or lymph node-positive disease), or favorable (no unfavorable features). Multivariable analyses tested oncologic outcomes stratified by pathologic classification. RESULTS: Overall, 527 men had complete pathologic data and were included in the current analysis. Of the cohort, 206 of 527 men (39%) had favorable pathology. This finding was more common in men with only 1 clinical high-risk feature, and a lower body mass index, PSA level, bGS, and percentage positive biopsy cores. Favorable pathology was associated with decreased BCR (hazards ratio [HR], 0.34), metastases (HR, 0.17), and PC death (HR, 0.17). After a median follow-up of 82 months (range, 49 months-131 months), 193 of the 527 men (37%) received ADT, including only 35 of the 206 men with favorable pathology (17%). Unfavorable pathology was associated with early (≤ 5 years) but not late treatment with ADT. CONCLUSIONS: In a large cohort of men with high-risk PC who were managed with RP, 39% had favorable pathology and superior oncologic outcomes.

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