Background: Previous studies have reported a possible prognostic importance of microvessel density (MVD) in prostate cancer, although the significance after radical prostatectomy is not clear. The purpose of this study was to assess the prognostic value of MVD in clinically localized prostatic adenocarcinomas, focusing on moderately-differentiated tumours.
Materials and methods: We examined a series of 104 patients treated for presumed organ-confined cancer in the period 1988-94. The area of highest tumour grade was selected from the prostatectomy specimens and vessels were high-lighted by staining for factor-VIII-related antigen. MVD was quantitated in the "hot spot" area and related to biochemical failure and clinical recurrence.
Results: In moderately differentiated tumours (WHO grade) (n = 66), MVD was associated with preoperative s-PSA and positive surgical margins. In univariate 5-year analysis, microvessel density (MVDmean > 122 mm-2, median) (p = 0.0074), s-PSA, tumour dimension, capsular penetration, seminal vesicle invasion and positive surgical margins were all significant predictors of biochemical failure, while MVDmean (p = 0.0084) was the only statistically significant predictor of clinical recurrence. In multivariate Cox' analysis, MVDmean (p = 0.0003), capsular penetration and tumour dimension remained as independent predictors of biochemical failure.
Conclusion: Assessment of MVD in moderately differentiated prostatic adenocarcinomas may improve the prognostic stratification of patients after radical prostatectomy.