Objectives: To determine whether outcome differences between African-American men (AAM) and white men with prostate cancer (PCa) will still be present if we control for stage in a large cohort of men. It is well established that AAM have a worse outcome from PCa than white men.
Methods: We examined 848 consecutive patients who underwent radical prostatectomy at Wayne State University, Karmanos Cancer Institute, between 1991 and 1995. The mean follow-up was 34 months (range 1.5 to 75). We included men with Gleason score 7 (4 + 3) with those men with Gleason score 8 to 10 for racial/ethnic comparisons.
Results: AAM and white men diagnosed with organ-confined PCa demonstrated similar prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, Gleason grade, and biochemical recurrence. However, AAM diagnosed with non-organ-confined disease demonstrated higher PSA levels and a higher incidence of recurrence than did white men with non-organ-confined disease. There was a trend toward AAM having a greater proportion of high-grade lesions than white men when PCa was not organ confined. The evidence suggests that the difference in recurrence among AAM versus white men is based on pretreatment PSA, grade, extracapsular extension, and positive surgical margins. Seminal vesicle invasion predicted a worse prognosis equally for both AAM and white men.
Conclusions: A difference in biochemical recurrence was not detected between AAM and white men with organ-confined PCa after radical prostatectomy. PSA was higher in AAM than in white men with pathologically locally advanced PCa, and the biochemical recurrence was greater. AAM had a greater percentage of high Gleason grade lesions compared with white men, and this difference approached statistical significance. We hypothesize that AAM have a more rapid growth rate of PCa, which may be responsible for these clinical findings. Further investigations of the biology of PCa are needed to understand these findings.