Objectives. Several investigators have reported that African-American men with clinically localized prostate cancer have poorer survival than do white men. In addition, prostate cancer in African-American men is commonly diagnosed at a more advanced stage of disease. Is race or ethnicity predictive of outcome of clinically localized prostate cancer? It has been reported that the presence of positive surgical margins significantly influences time to progression independently of other prognostic factors. Therefore, we have elected to conduct a multivariate analysis of clinical factors including race as potential predictors of positive surgical margin outcome. Methods. We studied 369 consecutive men (120 African-American and 249 white) who had radical prostatectomies at a single institution. Comparisons by race of Gleason score, stage, presence of positive surgical margins, and mean preoperative prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level were carried out. Results. Our data demonstrate that African-American men have more pathologically locally advanced prostate cancer than do white American men: 69% among blacks compared with 57% among whites. However, the difference in rate of positive surgical margins between blacks and whites is statistically significant: 58% among blacks versus 40% among whites (P = 0.002). Four factors were predictive of positive surgical margins: preoperative PSA level, race, clinical stage, and Gleason score. Conclusions. We have demonstrated that race is an independent predictor of positive surgical margins among patients with clinically localized prostate cancer and should be included in treatment decisions. In addition, the risk of positive surgical margins increases noticeably when PSA is greater than 10 ng/mL.
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