Purpose: We performed a prospective oncological evaluation of laparoscopic radical prostatectomy in regard to local tumor control and biochemical recurrence.
Materials and methods: Between January 1998 and March 2002, 1,000 consecutive patients with a mean age +/- SD of 63 +/- 6.2 years and clinically localized prostate cancer underwent laparoscopic radical prostatectomy at 1 institution. Preoperative 1997 TNM clinical stage was T1a in 6 patients (0.6%), T1b in 3 (0.3%), T1c in 660 (66.5%), T2a in 304 (30.4%) and T2b in 27 (2.7%). Mean preoperative prostate specific antigen (PSA) +/- SD was 10 +/- 6.1 ng./ml. (range 1.5 to 55). Postoperatively, surgical specimens were assessed and positive surgical margins recorded. Factors that could influence the surgical margins status were evaluated. Irrespective of pathological stage or surgical margin status, no adjuvant treatment was proposed before an increasing PSA. PSA recurrence was defined as PSA greater than 0.1 ng./ml. and was confirmed by a second increase. Recurrence time was defined as the time of the first increase in PSA.
Results: Postoperative pathological stage was pT2aN0/Nx in 203 patients (20.3%), pT2bN0/Nx in 572 (57.2%), pT3aN0/Nx in 142 (14.2%), pT3bN0/Nx in 77 (7.7%) and pT1-3 N1 in 6 (0.6%). Positive surgical margin rate was 6.9%, 18.6%, 30% and 34% for pathological stages pT2a, pT2b, pT3a and pT3b, respectively (p <0.001). The main predictors of a positive surgical margin were preoperative PSA (p <0.001), clinical stage (p = 0.001), pathological stage (p <0.001) and Gleason score (p = 0.003). The overall actuarial biochemical progression-free survival rate was 90.5% at 3 years. According to the pathological stage, the progression-free survival rate was 91.8% for pT2aN0/Nx, 88% for pT2bN0/Nx, 77% for pT3aN0/Nx, 44% for pT3bN0/Nx and 50% for pT1-3N1 (p <0.001). Of the patients 94% with negative surgical margins and 80% with positive margins had progression-free survival (p <0.001). Preservation of the neurovascular bundles in patients with localized tumors had no significant effect on the subsequent risk of positive surgical margins or progression-free survival.
Conclusions: Based on followup, our evaluation confirms that laparoscopic radical prostatectomy provides satisfactory results in regard to local tumor control and biochemical recurrence.