Background: A beneficial effect of regional anesthesia on cancer related outcome in various solid tumors has been proposed. The data on prostate cancer is conflicting and reports on long-term cancer specific survival are lacking.
Methods: In a retrospective, single-center study, outcomes of 148 consecutive patients with locally advanced prostate cancer pT3/4 who underwent retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP) with general anesthesia combined with intra- and postoperative epidural analgesia (n=67) or with postoperative ketorolac-morphine analgesia (n=81) were reviewed. The median observation time was 14.00 years (range 10.87-17.75 yrs). Biochemical recurrence (BCR)-free, local and distant recurrence-free, cancer-specific, and overall survival were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier technique. Multivariate Cox proportional-hazards regression models were used to analyze clinicopathologic variables associated with disease progression and death.
Results: The survival estimates for BCR-free, local and distant recurrence-free, cancer-specific survival and overall survival did not differ between the two groups (P=0.64, P=0.75, P=0.18, P=0.32 and P=0.07). For both groups, higher preoperative PSA (hazard ratio (HR) 1.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-1.02, P<0.0001), increased specimen Gleason score (HR 1.24, 95% CI 1.06-1.46, P=0.007) and positive nodal status (HR 1.66, 95% CI 1.03-2.67, P=0.04) were associated with higher risk of BCR. Increased specimen Gleason score predicted death from prostate cancer (HR 2.46, 95% CI 1.65-3.68, P<0.0001).
Conclusions: General anaesthesia combined with epidural analgesia did not reduce the risk of cancer progression or improve survival after RRP for prostate cancer in this group of patients at high risk for disease progression with a median observation time of 14.00 yrs.