Three-tiered Subclassification System of High-risk Prostate Cancer in Men Managed With Radical Prostatectomy: Implications for Treatment Decision-making


      To inform treatment decisions for patients with high-risk prostate cancer (PCa), we determined rates of adverse pathologic factors and overall survival (OS) among subgroups of high-risk men.


      Using the National Cancer Database, 89,450 patients with clinical N0M0 unfavorable intermediate-risk, favorable high-risk (cT1c, Gleason 6, prostate-specific antigen [PSA] > 20 ng/mL or cT1c, biopsy Gleason 8, PSA < 10 ng/mL), standard high-risk (all other cT3a, biopsy Gleason ≥ 8, or PSA > 20 ng/mL), or very high-risk (cT3b-T4 or biopsy primary Gleason pattern 5) PCa treated with radical prostatectomy were identified. Rates of adverse pathologic factors (positive surgical margins, T4 disease, or pathologic lymph node involvement) were compared across subgroups.


      Patients with unfavorable intermediate-risk (n = 31,381) and favorable high-risk (n = 10,296) disease had similar rates of adverse features (7.6% vs 8.2%, adjusted odds ratio 1.00, 95% confidence interval 0.92-1.08, P= .974). Patients with standard high-risk (n = 30,260) or very high-risk (n = 7513) disease were significantly more likely to have adverse pathologic factors (15.9% and 26.5%, P < .001 for both). Patients with unfavorable intermediate-risk and favorable high-risk disease had similar 5-year OS (95.7% vs 95.1%, adjusted hazard ratio 1.06, 95% confidence interval 0.92-1.21, P = .411) but better OS compared to standard and very high-risk patients (93.4% and 88.1%, respectively; P < .001).


      Unfavorable intermediate-risk or favorable high-risk PCa patients had low rates of adverse pathologic factors and similar OS. In contrast, standard and very high-risk PCa patients had significantly higher rates of adverse pathologic factors and worse OS. This 3-tiered subclassification of high-risk disease may allow for improved treatment selection among patients considering surgery.
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