Background: The authors examined the cases of men who had undergone radical prostatectomy for low-volume clinical T1c prostate carcinoma that was judged to be 'insignificant' on the basis of previously established preoperative clinicopathologic parameters. Pathologic findings subsequently were analyzed for correlations with extent of disease in an attempt to validate the contemporary usefulness of existing parameters for predicting the 'significance' of prostate tumors.
Methods: A series of 237 men who had undergone radical prostatectomy for T1c disease between December 2000 and August 2003 was evaluated. Insignificant prostate carcinoma as assessed on biopsy was defined according to the 1994 Epstein criteria, which were as follows: prostate-specific antigen density < 0.15 ng/mL, Gleason score < or = 6, fewer than 3 cores containing prostate carcinoma, and < or = 50% involvement of any core with prostate carcinoma. Postsurgical pathologic findings were analyzed for potential correlations with the Epstein criteria.
Results: According to the Epstein needle biopsy criteria, organ-confined prostate carcinoma was detected in 91.6% of all patients, whereas the remaining 8.4% of patients were found to have non-organ-confined disease. Comparison of pathologic findings and Epstein biopsy criteria revealed that alteration of the original criteria did not improve the detection of non-organ-confined prostate carcinoma.
Conclusions: The findings made in the current study suggest that the majority of patients with T1c prostate carcinoma have insignificant disease. Furthermore, it was found that the Epstein criteria for identifying insignificant prostate carcinoma remained a useful tool in the making of treatment-related decisions.