Radical prostatectomy for carcinoma of the prostate

Mod Pathol. 2004 Mar;17(3):349-59. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.3800056.


Morphologic features of prostatic adenocarcinoma in the radical prostatectomy (RP) specimen are powerful prognostic indicators for prognosis for disease-free survival. This review discusses the methods of sampling of the RP specimen to optimize the detection of these morphologic features, balanced against the added expense of submitting the entire gland for sectioning. Gleason grade, one of the most powerful prognostic factors, is discussed briefly, including the percent pattern 4/5 cancer compared to the standard Gleason grading. Pathologic stage, as defined by the TNM system, is discussed in detail, both in terms of precise histological definition of each category, as well as the associated prognostic implications. Surgical margin status is also important prognostically across all pathologic stages categories. Perineural invasion, which has been used diagnostically in prostate cancer for several decades, has emerged as a very important prognostic indicator as well, as determined by the quantitative aspects of tumor in the perineural space. The effect of tumor volume on prognosis is discussed, as well as the newer concepts of the prognostic significance of zone of origin of the tumor and the presence or absence of intraductal carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Prognosis
  • Prostatectomy / methods*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery*