Purpose: We compare the biological phenotype of recurrent prostatic tumors after definitive local therapy (radiation or radical prostatectomy) with that of the same tumors before treatment.
Materials and methods: Cellular proliferation (Ki-67 labeling index), p53 nuclear reactivity and bcl-2 immunoreactivity were determined in pretreatment and posttreatment tumor specimens from 13 patients with local tumor recurrence following radiation, and in 18 patients with local tumor recurrence following radical prostatectomy.
Results: Mean Ki-67 labeling index increased approximately 2-fold in locally recurrent tumors after radiation (10.5 versus 5.6%, p=0.0008) or surgery (6.0 versus 3.2%, p=0.0025) when compared with pretreatment tumors. We noted p53 nuclear reactivity in a significantly higher proportion of recurrences than in pretreatment tumors following radiation (54 versus 8%, p=0.032) and surgery (39 versus 5%, p=0.022). Although bcl-2 immunoreactivity was also seen in a higher proportion of recurrent tumors, this difference did not reach statistical significance for either radiation or surgery.
Conclusions: Recurrent tumors following either radiation or surgery differ significantly from the corresponding pretreatment tumors with respect to cellular proliferation and p53 nuclear reactivity.