Background: The current study was conducted to determine the clinical characteristics and prognostic features associated with prostatic small cell carcinoma (SCC).
Methods: Between January 1985 and May 2005, 83 patients with SCC of the prostate were identified. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards modeling were used to assess the prognostic significance of the clinical parameters associated with disease-specific outcomes.
Results: Twenty-one patients had no evidence of distant metastasis at the time of the diagnosis of SCC, with the remaining patients demonstrating radiologic or biopsy-proven evidence of metastatic disease. Compared with patients with metastases, patients without metastases at the time of diagnosis were older (P = .001) and had a lower serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level at the time of diagnosis (P = .002). On multivariate analysis, an elevated serum LDH level and low serum albumin at the time of SCC diagnosis was found to be predictive of inferior progression-free survival (P = .02 and P = .008, respectively) and inferior disease-specific survival (DSS) (P = .02 and P = .01, respectively). At the time of last follow-up, 72 patients (87%) had died of disease, with a median DSS duration of 13.1 months (range, 10.7-17.1 months). There was a statistically significant difference noted with regard to the median DSS of patients with nonmetastatic versus those with metastatic SCC (17.7 months [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 12.1-39.2 months] vs 12.5 months [95% CI, 8.1-16.1 months], respectively; P = .03).
Conclusions: SCC of the prostate is a highly aggressive tumor, with serum LDH and albumin levels at the time of diagnosis believed to be predictive of disease-related outcomes. Although palliative, current systemic therapy does not result in cure and does not provide long-term survival for patients with metastases. For patients with nonmetastatic disease, a strategy utilizing systemic and local therapies should be evaluated further.