Race, biochemical disease recurrence, and prostate-specific antigen doubling time after radical prostatectomy: results from the SEARCH database

Cancer. 2007 Nov 15;110(10):2202-9. doi: 10.1002/cncr.23012.


Background: Whether black men are at increased risk for biochemical disease recurrence after radical prostatectomy (RP) is debatable. Once black men have developed disease recurrence, it is unknown whether they have more aggressive disease than white men. To address this issue, the authors examined racial differences in pathologic features, time to disease recurrence, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) doubling time (PSADT) among a cohort of patients treated with RP.

Methods: The authors analyzed 953 white and 659 black men who were treated at 5 medical centers comprising the Shared Equal Access Regional Cancer Hospital (SEARCH) Database between 1988 and 2006. The association between race, adverse pathologic features, and biochemical disease recurrence was examined. Among those patients who developed disease recurrence, time to recurrence and PSADT were compared between the races.

Results: Black men were on average 2.1 years younger (P < .001) and had higher median preoperative PSA levels (7.6 ng/mL vs 7.0 ng/mL; P < .001), yet presented with a lower clinical stage of disease (T1: 62% vs 44%; P < .001) and similar biopsy Gleason scores (P = .59). After adjusting for multiple clinical characteristics, black men were found to be as likely as white men to have adverse pathologic features (Gleason score >or=7, positive surgical margins, and seminal vesicle invasion) in the RP specimen and were less likely to have extracapsular extension (P = .03). Black men were more likely to have a biochemical disease recurrence (hazards ratio [HR] of 1.28; 95% confidence interval [95% CI, 1.07-1.54 [P = .006]). This increased risk was reduced slightly after adjustment for multiple clinical and pathologic features, and no longer achieved statistical significance (HR of 1.19; 95% CI, 0.97-1.45 [P = .09]). Among men who developed disease recurrence, the median PSADT was found to be similar among black men (17.0 months) and white men (14.6 months) (P = .26).

Conclusions: Despite presenting with earlier clinical stage and similar pathologic features at RP, black men were found to be at a slightly increased risk for biochemical disease recurrence. However, these recurrences appear to be no more aggressive than those found in white men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • African Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatectomy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Recurrence


  • Prostate-Specific Antigen