In a study by the Veterans Administration Cooperative Urological Research Group (VACURG), 142 patients with localized prostate cancer, VACURG stage I and II, were randomized between radical prostatectomy plus placebo versus placebo alone as initial treatment. 111 patients were evaluable for treatment comparison. Median follow-up for survival is 23 years. The prognostic value of Gleason histologic grading was confirmed. A difference in overall survival in favor of radical prostatectomy was observed in stage I patients. However, after adjustment for imbalance in age distribution, no statistically significant differences in survival could be demonstrated in either stage or in both stages combined. The results are discussed considering the small sample size and the limited statistical power of the study.