Purpose: We evaluated whether detectable levels of prostate specific antigen after radical prostatectomy for stage P2 disease are associated with unconfined cancer overlooked at pathological examination.
Materials and methods: Among 129 patients with stages T1 and T2 prostate cancer treated with radical prostatectomy 60 had stage P2 disease. The initial slides from the 7 patients with biological failure were carefully reviewed and, if necessary, the embedded blocks were sectioned every 2 mm.
Results: The disease was upstaged histologically from P2 to P3 in 6 of 7 patients by reinspecting the initial slides (3) and examining new slides (3).
Conclusions: A postoperative detectable prostate specific antigen level in cases of stage P2 cancer reflects the presence of unconfined disease that may be overlooked by histopathological examination.