The Modulating Effects of Benign Prostate Enlargement Medications on Upgrading Predictors in Patients with Gleason 6 at Biopsy

Curr Urol. 2017 Jul;10(2):97-104. doi: 10.1159/000447159. Epub 2017 May 30.


Background: Upgrading following prostate biopsy is very common in clinical practice. This study investigated whether the use of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (ARI) and alpha blockers affect known clinical predictors of Gleason score upgrading or not.

Materials and methods: A retrospective study on 998 patients treated with robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy for clinically localized biopsy Gleason score 6 prostate cancer were studied. The logarithm of prostate specific antigen concentration, prostate size and tumor volume were compared on the basis of the medication history of 5-ARIs and alpha blockers in the cohort of biopsy Gleason 6 patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia history, and patients whose prostate sizes fall in the top quartile. We compared known clinical and pathologic characteristics associated with upgrading in regression models with and without the addition of medications.

Results: Alpha blockers, but not 5-ARI were associated with a bigger prostate. Upgrading was associated with older age (OR 1.03, 95% CI 1.01-1.06), higher BMI (OR 1.00 CI 1.01-1.08), higher log prostate specific antigen (OR 7.32, CI 3.546-15.52), smaller prostate size (OR 0.97, CI 0.96-0.98), fewer biopsy cores (OR 0.96 CI 0.92-0.99), more positive cores (OR 1.20, CI 1.08-1.34), and higher percentage of tumor at biopsy (OR 1.02, CI 1.01-1.03). Neither of the two medication classes were a significant predictor of upgrading. Medications made minimal changes in the multivariate predictive models.

Conclusion: Although, alpha blockers were associate with bigger prostate size, the modulating effects of alpha blockers and 5-ARIs on common predictors of Gleason score upgrading was not significant.

Keywords: 5-alpha reductase inhibitor; Alpha blocker; Gleason; Prostate cancer; Upgrading.