Background: Histopathological risk factors for survival stratification of surgically treated nodal positive prostate cancer patients are poorly defined as reflected by only one category for nodal metastases.
Methods: We evaluated biochemical recurrence-free survival (RFS), disease-specific survival (DSS), and overall survival (OS) in 102 nodal positive, hormone treatment-naïve prostate cancer patients (median age: 65 years, range: 45-75 years; median follow-up 7.7 years, range: 1.0-15.9 years) who underwent radical prostatectomy and standardized extended lymphadenectomy.
Results: A significant stratification was possible, with the Gleason score of the primary and virtually all nodal parameters favoring patients with better differentiated primaries and metastases, lower nodal tumor burden, and without extranodal extension of metastases. In multivariate analyses, diameter of the largest metastasis (< or =10 mm vs. >10 mm) was the strongest independent predictor for RFS (P < 0.001), DSS (P < 0.001), and OS (P < 0.001) with a more than quadrupled relative risk of cancer related deaths for patients with larger metastases (Hazard ratio: 4.2, Confidence interval: 2.0-8.9; 5-year RFS/DSS/OS: 18%/57%/54%). The highest 5-year survival rates were seen in patients with micrometastases only (RFS/DSS/OS: 47%/94%/94%).
Conclusion: The TNM classification's current allocation of only one category for nodal metastases in prostate cancers is unsatisfactory since subgroups with significantly different prognoses can be identified. The diameter of the patient's largest metastasis (< or =10 mm vs. >10 mm) should be used for substaging because of its independent prognostic value. The substage "micrometastasis only" is also useful in nodal positive prostate cancer since it designates the subgroup with the most favorable outcome.
2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.