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



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.


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.


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.


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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