Role of radical prostatectomy in patients with prostate cancer of high Gleason score

Marcos V. Tefilli, Edward L. Gheiler, Rabi Tiguert, Mousumi Banerjee, Wael Sakr, David Grignon, David P. Wood, J. Edson Pontes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. The routine use of serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing combined with digital rectal examination has lowered tumor volume and clinical-pathological stage of men undergoing radical prostatectomy. Therefore, we may identify more men with poorly differentiated tumors of early clinical stage. In order to identify those who may benefit from radical prostatectomy, we evaluated known prognostic variables in patients with prostate cancer of high Gleason score (8-10). METHODS. Of 652 patients who underwent a radical prostatectomy as monotherapy for clinically localized prostate cancer between March 1991-December 1995, 84 patients with prostatectomy specimen Gleason score 8-10 tumors were identified. Clinical- pathological data were obtained from our prostate cancer database. Gleason score, PSA level, margin status, pathologic stage, and tumor volume were analyzed as general prognostic variables for disease-free survival (DFS). Follow-up ranged from 13-84 months (median, 36.2). Biochemical recurrence was defined as a postoperative PSA elevation greater than 0.4 ng/ml. RESULTS. The DFS for patients with Gleason score 8-10 and pathologically organ-confined disease was 62.5%. DFS was 56.2% for patients with PSA ≤10 ng/ml, compared to 19.2% for patients with serum PSA >10 ng/ml (P = 0.009). Patients with nonspecimen-confined disease (positive margins) had a DFS rate of 26.6% vs. 55% for patients with specimen-confined disease (negative margins) (P = 0.009). on multivariable analysis, only preoperative PSA ≤10 ng/ml (P = 0.02) and surgical margin Status (P = 0.04) were significant predictors of DFS. CONCLUSIONS. Surgical margin status and preoperative serum PSA level are independent predictors of DFS for patients with high Gleason score prostate cancer treated by radical prostatectomy as monotherapy. Patients with poorly differentiated prostate cancer treated surgically at an early stage can have a favorable prognosis, especially if negative surgical margins are obtained. A preoperative serum PSA level ≤10 ng/ml carries the greatest likelihood of achieving prolonged DFS in this group of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-66
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 15 1999


  • Prognosis
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radical prostatectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology

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