Clinical stage, Gleason score and serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels are used separately to predict pathological stage in patients with localized prostate cancer. Because the degree of tumor differentiation has a profound influence on the expression of serum PSA, serum PSA levels alone do not reflect tumor burden accurately. To overcome this obstacle we tested these 3 variables alone and in combinations as predictors of final pathological stage in 703 men with clinically localized prostate cancer at our institution. All patients were assigned a clinical stage by 1 urologist. The Gleason score was determined from preoperative needle biopsy and serum PSA levels were measured on an ambulatory basis. Final pathological stage was determined to be either organ confined, established capsular penetration, seminal vesicle involvement or lymph node involvement. Logistic regression analysis with the likelihood ratio chi-square test determined that serum PSA, Gleason score and clinical stage all predicted final pathological stage well. The results were improved with combinations of the 3 variables (serum PSA, Gleason score and clinical stage) and the combination provided the best separation. From these analyses probability plots and nomograms have been constructed to assist urologists in the preoperative prediction of final pathological stage for patients with clinically localized prostate cancer.