Purpose: We evaluated the long-term outcome of radical prostatectomy for pathological Gleason score 8 or greater prostate cancer and characterized the prognostic significance of other pathological variables.
Materials and methods: A total of 6,419 patients underwent radical prostatectomy between 1987 and 1996. There were 407 patients classified as having pathological Gleason 8 or greater, including 8 in 48%, 9 in 49% and 10 in 3%. Adjuvant treatment was used in 45% of patients and adjuvant hormonal therapy was administered to 155 (38%). Progression-free, including local or systemic, and/or prostate specific antigen (PSA) 0.4 ng./ml. or greater, and cancer specific survival were determined by the Kaplan-Meier method. The effect of pathological grade and stage, preoperative PSA, DNA ploidy, margin status, tumor dimension, seminal vesicle invasion, and adjuvant treatment was assessed with the univariate and multivariate analyses.
Results: Pathological stage distribution was pT2 in 26% of patients, pT3 48% and pTxN+ 27%. Overall and progression-free survival at 10 years was 67% and 36%, respectively, compared to cancer specific survival 85%. Adjuvant treatment, pathological stage, preoperative PSA and pathological grade were significant (less than 0.05) univariate predictors of progression-free survival. Pathological stage, margin status and ploidy were univariately associated with cancer specific survival. Progression-free survival at 10 years of those patients who did and did not receive adjuvant treatment was 52% and 23%, respectively. In the multivariate analysis pathological grade (p=0.02), preoperative PSA (p <0.0001), adjuvant therapy (p <0.0001) and pathological stage (p=0.036) were significant independent predictors of progression-free survival.
Conclusions: High grade prostate cancer can be controlled with radical prostatectomy in some patients with disease confined pathologically, and 10-year cause specific survival is 96%. Predictors of outcome in patients with Gleason 8 disease or greater are similar to established predictors derived by using all grades. Although adjuvant hormonal therapy appears to improve disease progression rates after radical prostatectomy on the basis of this nonrandomized study, it may not affect prostate cancer death rates within 10 years in patients with high grade cancer.