Objectives: To compare the cancer control in men younger than 50 years with that in older men treated with radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) for localized prostate cancer in a contemporary series. In the 1970s and 1980s, men younger than 50 years old represented approximately 1% of newly diagnosed prostate cancer cases. However, with the widespread use of serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing and increased public awareness of prostate cancer, this figure has risen (3.7% to 4%). Previous studies, mostly carried out before the PSA era, reported conflicting data with respect to cancer control for these younger men treated with RRP.
Methods: We analyzed the data from 2897 men who underwent RRP between April 1982 and September 2001. Preoperative PSA level, clinical and pathologic stage, and biochemical recurrence were compared between 341 men younger than 50 years old and 2556 men 50 years old or older. Disease-free (PSA less than 0.2 ng/mL) survival rates were compared using Kaplan-Meier analysis. Pathologic staging was compared using logistic regression analysis.
Results: Men younger than 50 years old had pathologic variables and 5, 10, and 15-year biochemical disease-free survival rates comparable to men aged 50 to 59 years (88%, 81%, and 69% versus 87%, 78%, and 71%, respectively). However, younger men had a lower incidence of extraprostatic extension (25% versus 31%; P <0.02), seminal vesicle involvement (2% versus 6%; P <0.03), and positive surgical margins (3% versus 9%; P <0.03), a greater organ-confined disease rate (65% versus 49%; P <0.0001), and a trend toward greater 5, 10, and 15-year biochemical disease-free survival rates, which did not reach statistical significance, compared with men aged 60 to 69 years (84%, 74%, and 67%, respectively; P <0.09). Furthermore, younger men not only had a lower rate of extraprostatic extension (25% versus 36%; P <0.001), seminal vesicle involvement (2% versus 10%; P <0.001), and positive surgical margins (3% versus 9%; P <0.001) and a greater organ-confined disease rate (65% versus 36%; P <0.0001), they also demonstrated significantly (P <0.003) greater 5, 10, and 15-year biochemical disease-free survival rates compared with men aged 70 years or older (72%, 58%, and 58%, respectively).
Conclusions: Men diagnosed with prostate cancer who are younger than 50 years of age and are candidates for RRP tend to have a greater probability of organ-confined disease than older men. Younger men also demonstrate greater long-term cancer control rates than older men.