Purpose: We determined if black men with clinically localized adenocarcinoma of the prostate have the same recurrence-free outcome following radical prostatectomy, and whether they have similar preoperative, operative and pathological characteristics as white men in an equal access health care environment.
Materials and methods: We studied consecutive single hospital case series of 366 white and 107 black patients who underwent radical prostatectomy between 1975 and February 29, 1995. Evaluation included comprehensive retrospective chart review, prospective data collection and proactive followup. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were done of preoperative, operative, pathological and recurrence data by race.
Results: Although the incidences of hypertension and diabetes, pretreatment prostate specific antigen (PSA) and serum creatinine measurements, elevated PSA as an indication for biopsy and clinical stage were greater in black men, the operative variables of blood loss, operative time and performance of a nerve sparing procedure were not different. The incidence of margin positivity was greater in black patients but pathological stage, Gleason score and seminal vesicle or nodal involvement were not different. Black race was an adverse prognostic factor for recurrence following radical prostatectomy after multivariate adjustment for pretreatment PSA and acid phosphatase, organ confinement status and tumor grade.
Conclusions: The poorer recurrence-free outcome for black patients even after multivariate adjustment suggests a potentially more aggressive variant of prostate cancer in this population, the etiology of which is unknown. Race should be a stratification factor in clinical trials, especially those including radical prostatectomy and using recurrence-free outcome as an end point.