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1.  Prognostic Gleason grade grouping: data based on the modified Gleason scoring system 
BJU international  2013;111(5):753-760.
• To investigate pathological and short-term outcomes since the most recent Gleason system modifications by the International Society of Urological Pathology (ISUP) in an attempt to divide the current Gleason grading system into prognostically accurate Gleason grade groups.
Patients and Methods
• We queried the Johns Hopkins Radical Prostatectomy Database (1982–2011), approved by the institutional review board, for men undergoing radical prostatectomy (RP) without a tertiary pattern since 2004 and identified 7869 men.
• Multivariable models were created using preoperative and postoperative variables; prognostic grade group (Gleason grade ≤6; 3 + 4; 4 + 3; 8; 9–10) was among the strongest predictors of biochemical recurrence-free (BFS) survival.
• Significant differences were noted among the Gleason grade groups at biopsy; differences were noted in the race, PSA level, clinical stage, number of positive cores at biopsy and the maximum percentage of positive cores among the Gleason grade groups at RP.
• With a median (range) follow-up of 2 (1–7) years, 5-year BFS rates for men with Gleason grade ≤6, 3 + 4, 4 + 3, 8 and 9–10 tumours at biopsy were 94.6, 82.7, 65.1, 63.1 and 34.5%, respectively (P < 0.001 for trend); and 96.6, 88.1, 69.7, 63.7 and 34.5%, respectively (P < 0.001), based on RP pathology.
• The 2005 ISUP modifications to the Gleason grading system for prostate carcinoma accurately categorize patients by pathological findings and short-term biochemical outcomes but, while retaining the essence of the Gleason system, there is a need for a change in its reporting to more closely reflect tumour behaviour.
• We propose reporting Gleason grades, including prognostic grade groups which accurately reflect prognosis as follows: Gleason score ≤6 (prognostic grade group I); Gleason score 3+4=7 (prognostic grade group II); Gleason score 4+3=7 (prognostic grade group III); Gleason score 4+4=8 (prognostic grade group (IV); and Gleason score 9–10 (prognostic grade group (V).
PMCID: PMC3978145  PMID: 23464824
Gleason grade; prostate carcinoma; radical prostatectomy
2.  Gleason grade remains an important prognostic predictor in men diagnosed with prostate cancer while on finasteride therapy 
BJU international  2005;95(4):509-512.
To evaluate men treated with finasteride for lower urinary tract symptoms, who subsequently were diagnosed with prostate cancer and had a radical prostatectomy (RP) at our institution, to determine if finasteride therapy prevented accurate Gleason grade assignment and prediction of biochemical recurrence.
Between May 1996 and July 2003, 45 men were identified who had RP and had previously been treated with finasteride for ≥6 months before the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Clinical and pathological information was gathered from a RP database. Serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, duration of finasteride therapy, biopsy Gleason grade, clinical stage, RP Gleason grade and pathological stage were reviewed. Freedom from recurrence was predicted using validated nomograms before and after RP, and compared against actuarial 5-year freedom from recurrence using the Kaplan-Meier method.
The mean duration of finasteride therapy before diagnosis was 23.6 months, the mean serum PSA (doubled to account for finasteride use) 11.02 ng/mL and mean biopsy Gleason score 6. When comparing the biopsy and RP specimen Gleason score, it was downgraded by 1 point in six men, upgraded by 1 point in eight, and upgraded by 2 points in one. The Gleason score was constant in 30 patients. The nomograms predicted freedom from recurrence in 83% and 85%, respectively; the 5-year actuarial freedom from recurrence was 86%.
Finasteride does not appear to compromise the assignment of Gleason grade for use in prediction tools before or after RP in men undergoing prostate biopsy or RP. The actuarial 5-year freedom from recurrence was similar to that predicted by the validated nomograms. Gleason grade remains an important prognostic predictor in men treated with finasteride and undergoing RP for clinically localized prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC1939940  PMID: 15705069
prostate cancer; finasteride; Gleason grade
3.  Upgrading and Downgrading of Prostate Needle Biopsies: Risk Factors and Clinical Implications 
Urology  2007;69(3):495-499.
The prostate biopsy Gleason grade frequently differs from the radical prostatectomy (RP) grade. Given the critical role needle biopsy plays in treatment decisions, we determined risk factors for upgrading and downgrading the prostate biopsy.
We determined the significant predictors of upgrading (higher RP grade than biopsy grade) and downgrading (lower RP grade than biopsy grade) among 1,113 men treated with RP between 1996 and 2005 within the SEARCH Database who underwent at least a sextant biopsy. Gleason sum was examined as a categorical variable of 2–6, 3+4, and ≥4+3.
Overall, 299 men (27%) were upgraded, 123 (11%) were downgraded, and 691 (62%) had identical biopsy and pathological Gleason sum groups. Upgrading was associated with adverse pathology (p≤0.001) and risk of biochemical progression (p=0.001) while downgrading was associated more favorable pathology (p≤0.01) and a decreased risk of progression (p=0.04). On multivariable analysis, higher PSA (p<0.001), more biopsy cores with cancer (p=0.001), and obesity (p=0.003) were all significantly positively associated with upgrading while biopsy Gleason sum 3+4 (p=0.001) and obtaining ≥8 biopsy cores (p=0.01) were associated with less likelihood of upgrading.
Men who were upgraded were at greater risk of adverse pathology and biochemical progression. Men with “high-risk” cancer (higher PSA, more cores positive and obese) were more likely to be upgraded while obtaining more biopsy cores reduced the likelihood of upgrading.
PMCID: PMC3080253  PMID: 17382152
Prostate cancer; radical prostatectomy; Gleason; prostate biopsy; obesity
4.  Factors predicting Gleason score 6 upgrading after radical prostatectomy 
Prostate cancer Gleason score 6 is the most common score detected on prostatic biopsy. We analyzed the clinical parameters that predict the likelihood of Gleason score upgrading after radical prostatectomy.
The study population consisted of 241 patients who underwent radical retropubic prostatectomy between Feb 2002 and Dec 2007 for Gleason score 6 adenocarcinoma. The influence of preoperative parameters on the probability of a Gleason score upgrading after surgery was evaluated using multivariate logistic regression and ROC curves.
Gleason score upgrade was found in 92 of 241 patients (38.2%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that only percentage of cancer in dominant lobe and prostate weight were significant predictors for Gleason score upgrading (p = 0.043 and p = 0.006, respectively). ROC curves showed that prostate weight and PSA density were only two independent significant parameters for prediction of upgrade (AUC – 0.634, p <0.0001 and 0.604, p = 0.006, respectively). Gleason score upgrading was observed to be accompanied by significantly higher rates of extra prostatic extension (p <0.001) and seminal vesicle invasion (p = 0.002).
Almost forty percent of tumors graded Gleason 6 at biopsy are Gleason 7 at surgery. Upgraded tumors significantly associated with adverse pathological features. The probability of Gleason score upgrade can be predicted using prostate weight and PSA density as independent parameters.
PMCID: PMC3921736  PMID: 24578894
prostate cancer; Gleason score; biopsy; prostatectomy; upgrading
5.  Can microfocal prostate cancer be regarded as low-risk prostate cancer? 
Prostate International  2013;1(4):158-162.
Prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer has become widespread, the prostate biopsy technique has evolved, and the occurrence of low-risk prostate cancer has been increasing. Even low-risk patients may demonstrate disease upgrading or upstaging. We aimed to evaluate the clinical importance of a single microfocal prostate cancer at biopsy in patients subsequently treated with radical prostatectomy.
A total of 337 cases of patients who underwent radical prostatectomy after prostate biopsies were retrospectively reviewed. Microfocal prostate cancer was defined as Gleason score 6 and a single positive core with ≤5% cancer involvement after the standard 12-core extended biopsy.
Of the 337 prostatectomy specimens, 22 (6.5%) were microfocal prostate cancer based on prostate biopsy. On final pathology, microfocal patients were found to have significant 45% Gleason score upgrading (P=0.02) and 27% positive surgical margins (P=0.04) despite low PSA, compared with the nonmicrofocal prostate cancer group. Gleason upgrading was significantly higher in the microfocal prostate cancer group (P=0.02), whereas Gleason downgrading was significantly higher in the nonmicrofocal prostate cancer group (P<0.01). Furthermore, biochemical recurrence rate was no different between microfocal and nonmicrofocal prostate cancer at mean 31 months (P=0.18). Overall, 13 of 22 cases (53.1%) in the microfocal prostate cancer group showed Gleason upgrading or stage upgrading.
Based on higher rates of Gleason score upgrading or stage upgrading cases in microfocal prostate cancer group, compared with nonmicrofocal prostate cancer group, active surveillance should be cautiously applied to these patients.
PMCID: PMC3879053  PMID: 24392440
Prostate neoplasms; Biopsy; Low-risk prostate cancer; Prostatectomy
6.  Clinical and pathological variables that predict changes in tumour grade after radical prostatectomy in patients with prostate cancer 
Preoperative Gleason score is crucial, in combination with other preoperative parameters, in selecting the appropriate treatment for patients with clinically localized prostate cancer. The aim of the present study is to determine the clinical and pathological variables that can predict differences in Gleason score between biopsy and radical prostatectomy.
We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 302 patients who had a radical prostatectomy between January 2005 and September 2010. The association between grade changes and preoperative Gleason score, age, prostate volume, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), PSA density, number of biopsy cores, presence of prostatitis and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia was analyzed. We also conducted a secondary analysis of the factors that influence upgrading in patients with preoperative Gleason score ≤6 (group 1) and downgrading in patients with Gleason score ≤7 (group 2).
No difference in Gleason score was noted in 44.3% of patients, while a downgrade was noted in 13.7% and upgrade in 42.1%. About 2/3 of patients with a Gleason score of ≤6 upgraded after radical prostatectomy. PSA density (p = 0.008) and prostate volume (p = 0.032) were significantly correlated with upgrade. No significant predictors were found for patients with Gleason score ≤7 who downgraded postoperatively.
Smaller prostate volume and higher values of PSA density are predictors for upgrade in patients with biopsy Gleason score ≤6 and this should be considered when deferred treatment modalities are planned.
PMCID: PMC3650813  PMID: 23671515
7.  Poorly Differentiated Prostate Cancer Treated With Radical Prostatectomy: Long-Term Outcome and Incidence of Pathological Downgrading 
The Journal of urology  2006;176(3):991-995.
Patients with high grade (Gleason score 8 to 10) prostate cancer on biopsy are at high risk for cancer recurrence after local treatment, such as radiation therapy and radical prostatectomy. We examined long-term outcomes in patients with high grade prostate cancer on biopsy who were treated with radical prostatectomy alone. We also investigated the impact on outcomes of changes in the radical prostatectomy Gleason score.
Materials and Methods:
Of 5,662 patients who underwent radical prostatectomy during 20 years 238 had a biopsy Gleason score of 8 to 10. We analyzed the rate of biochemical recurrence in this subgroup according to the Gleason grade of cancer in the radical prostatectomy specimen.
Ten-year biochemical recurrence-free probability in the cohort was 39%. However, 45% of patients (95% CI 38 to 51%) with Gleason score 8 to 10 cancer on biopsy had a Gleason score of 7 or less in the radical prostatectomy specimen. These patients had a 10-year biochemical recurrence-free probability of 56% compared to 27% in those with a final Gleason score that remained 8 to 10 (p = 0.0004). On multivariate analysis neither prostate specific antigen nor biopsy features, including total number of cores, number of cores with cancer and percent of cancer in the cores, was a significant predictor of downgrading. However, clinical stage and biopsy Gleason score were significant with 58% of cT1c and 51% of biopsy Gleason score 8 cancers downgraded. Almost 65% of cT1c Gleason score 8 cancers were downgraded compared to 11% of cT3 Gleason score 9 cancers.
Patients diagnosed with poorly differentiated prostate cancer (Gleason score 8 to 10) on biopsy do not uniformly have a poor prognosis. Of the patients 39% remain free of cancer recurrence 10 years after radical prostatectomy. Of these cancers 45% have a lower Gleason score in the radical prostatectomy specimen and a correspondingly more favorable long-term outcome. Predictors of downgrading are lower clinical stage (cT1c) and Gleason score 8 in the biopsy specimen.
PMCID: PMC2239297  PMID: 16890678
prostate; prostatic neoplasms; prostatectomy; mortality; biopsy
8.  Importance of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) as a predictive factor for concordance between the Gleason scores of prostate biopsies and RADICAL prostatectomy specimens 
Clinics  2013;68(6):820-824.
To evaluate the concordance between the Gleason scores of prostate biopsies and radical prostatectomy specimens, thereby highlighting the importance of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level as a predictive factor of concordance.
We retrospectively analyzed 253 radical prostatectomy cases performed between 2006 and 2011. The patients were divided into 4 groups for the data analysis and dichotomized according to the preoperative PSA, <10 ng/mL and ≥10 ng/mL. A p-score <0.05 was considered significant.
The average patient age was 63.3±7.8 years. The median PSA level was 9.3±4.9 ng/mL. The overall concordance between the Gleason scores was 52%. Patients presented preoperative PSA levels <10 ng/mL in 153 of 235 cases (65%) and ≥10 ng/mL in 82 of 235 cases (35%). The Gleason scores were identical in 86 of 153 cases (56%) in the <10 ng/mL group and 36 of 82 (44%) cases in the ≥10 ng/mL group (p = 0.017). The biopsy underestimated the Gleason score in 45 (30%) patients in the <10 ng/mL group and 38 (46%) patients in the ≥10 ng/mL (p = 0.243). Specifically, the patients with Gleason 3 + 3 scores according to the biopsies demonstrated global concordance in 56 of 110 cases (51%). In this group, the patients with preoperative PSA levels <10 ng/dL had higher concordance than those with preoperative PSA levels ≥10 ng/dL (61% x 23%, p = 0.023), which resulted in 77% upgrading after surgery in those patients with PSA levels ≥10 ng/dl.
The Gleason scores of needle prostate biopsies and those of the surgical specimens were concordant in approximately half of the global sample. The preoperative PSA level was a strong predictor of discrepancy and might improve the identification of those patients who tended to be upgraded after surgery, particularly in patients with Gleason scores of 3 + 3 in the prostate biopsy and preoperative PSA levels ≥10 ng/mL.
PMCID: PMC3674287  PMID: 23778496
Gleason Score; Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA); Prostate Biopsy; Radical Prostatectomy; Prostate Cancer
9.  Preoperative characteristics of high-Gleason disease predictive of favourable pathological and clinical outcomes at radical prostatectomy 
BJU international  2012;110(8):1122-1128.
To investigate preoperative characteristics that distinguish favourable and unfavourable pathological and clinical outcomes in men with high biopsy Gleason sum (8 – 10) prostate cancer to better select men who will most benefit from radical prostatectomy (RP).
The Institutional Review Board-approved institutional RP database (1982 – 2010) was analysed for men with high-Gleason prostate cancer on biopsy; 842 men were identified.
The 10-year biochemical-free (BFS), metastasis-free (MFS) and prostate cancer-specific survival (CSS) were calculated using the Kaplan – Meier method to verify favourable pathology as men with Gleason <8 at RP or ≤ pT3a compared with men with unfavourable pathology with Gleason 8 – 10 and pT3b or N1.
Preoperative characteristics were compared using appropriate comparative tests.
Logistic regression determined preoperative predictors of unfavourable pathology.
There was favourable pathology in 656 (77.9%) men. The 10-year BFS, MFS and CSS were 31.0%, 60.9% and 74.8%, respectively.
In contrast, men with unfavourable pathological findings had significantly worse 10-year BFS, MFS and CSS, at 4.3%, 29.1% and 52.3%, respectively (all P < 0.001).
In multivariable logistic regression, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentration of > 10 ng/mL (odds ratio [OR] 2.24, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.38 – 3.62, P = 0.001), advanced clinical stage (≥ cT2b; OR 2.55, 95% CI 1.55 – 4.21, P < 0.001), Gleason pattern 9 or 10 at biopsy (OR 2.55, 95% CI 1.59 – 4.09, P < 0.001), increasing number of cores positive with high-grade cancer (OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.01 – 1.34, P = 0.04) and > 50% positive core involvement (OR 2.25, 95% CI 1.17 – 4.35, P = 0.015) were predictive of unfavourable pathology.
Men with high-Gleason sum at biopsy are at high risk for biochemical recurrence, metastasis and death after RP; men with high Gleason sum and advanced pathological stage (pT3b or N1) have the worst prognosis.
Among men with high-Gleason sum at biopsy, a PSA concentration of > 10 ng/mL, clinical stage ≥ T2b, Gleason pattern 9 or 10, increasing number of cores with high-grade cancer and > 50% core involvement are predictive of unfavourable pathology.
PMCID: PMC4124597  PMID: 22373045
prostate cancer; high-risk; Gleason sum; outcomes
10.  Progression and survival in prostatic adenocarcinoma: a comparison of clinical stage, Gleason grade, S-phase fraction and DNA ploidy. 
British Journal of Cancer  1994;70(2):309-314.
Clinical data were reviewed in 325 patients with prostatic adenocarcinoma followed up for a mean of 13 years. Paraffin-embedded tumour biopsy specimens from the primary tumours were available for flow cytometry (FCM) in 273 cases. Intra-tumour heterogeneity in DNA index (DI) was found in 4% of the tumours (54 cases were analysed). S-phase fraction (SPF) and DNA ploidy were significantly interrelated. Aneuploidy and high SPF were significantly related to both a high T category and high Gleason score. The progression in T1-2M0 tumours was related to Gleason score (P = 0.009), DNA ploidy (P = 0.006) and SPF (P = 0.007), while the Gleason score (P = 0.0013), DNA ploidy (P = 0.002) and SPF (P < 0.001) had prognostic value in univariate survival analysis. In the entire cohort, the T category (P < 0.001), M category (P < 0.001), Gleason score (P < 0.001), DNA ploidy (P < 0.001) and SPF (P < 0.001) were significant prognostic factors. In Cox's analysis, the M category (P < 0.001), Gleason score (P < 0.001), T category (P = 0.003), age (P = 0.001) and SPF (P = 0.087) were independently related to prognosis. In the T1-2M0 tumours, Gleason score (P < 0.001), T category (P = 0.022) and SPF (P = 0.058) were independent predictors. A novel classification system in which the DNA ploidy or SPF and the Gleason score were combined was found to be of significant prognostic value in all M0 tumours (P < 0.001). The results suggest that FCM can be used as an adjunct to conventional histological assessments for determination of the correct prognostic category in prostatic adenocarcinoma.
PMCID: PMC2033517  PMID: 8054280
11.  Long-Term Survival after Radical Prostatectomy for men with High Gleason Sum in the Pathological Specimen 
Urology  2010;76(3):715-721.
To evaluate long-term outcomes of patients with high Gleason sum (8–10) at radical prostatectomy (RP) and to identify predictors of prostate cancer-specific survival (CSS) in this cohort.
The Institutional RP Database was queried. 9,381 patients with complete follow-up underwent RP from 1982 to 2008; 1,061 patients had pathologic Gleason sum 8–10. Patient and prostate cancer characteristics were evaluated. Survival analyses were performed using Kaplan-Meier method. Univariate and multivariate proportional hazard regression models were created to evaluate pertinent predictors of CSS (death from or attributed to prostate cancer).
Median pre-operative PSA was 7.6 ng/mL; 435 men had clinical stage T1 tumor, 568 had T2, and 36 had T3. Biopsy Gleason sum was <7, =7 and >7 in 244 (22.3%), 406 (37.2%) and 425 (38.9%) patients, respectively. Median follow-up was five years (range 1–23 years). Actuarial 15-year recurrence-free survival, CSS and overall survival rates were 20.7%, 57.4% and 45.4%, respectively. In multivariate analysis, predictors of poor CSS were pathological Gleason sum of 9–10, seminal vesicle and lymph node involvement. Patients with pathological Gleason sum 8 and organ confined disease experienced a CSS of 89.9% at 15 years.
80% of men with Gleason sum 8–10 who undergo RP will experience biochemical recurrence at 15 years. However, CSS approached 90% in men with pathologic organ-confined disease. Higher pathological Gleason sum (9–10), seminal vesicle and lymph node involvement are independent predictors of worse CSS.
PMCID: PMC2897964  PMID: 20350749
Prostate cancer; High-Risk; Gleason sum
12.  Risk Stratification of Men with Gleason 7–10 tumors by Primary and Secondary Gleason Score: Results from the SEARCH Database 
Urology  2007;70(2):277-282.
Gleason 4+3 prostate cancer is associated with worse clinicopathologic outcomes than Gleason 3+4. Whether the increased risk associated with Gleason 4+3 is equivalent to ≥4+4 is unclear.
We reviewed data from two separate cohorts pulled from the SEARCH Database. The first consisted of 374 men with biopsy Gleason 3+4 or greater, and the second consisted of 636 men with RP Gleason 3+4 or greater. We estimated the odds ratio of unfavorable surgical pathology for biopsy Gleason categories using logistic regression analysis. Using a Cox proportional hazards regression model, we estimated the relative risk of biochemical progression associated with each biopsy and RP Gleason category.
In the biopsy Gleason cohort, Gleason 4+3 was associated with increased odds of extracapsular extension (p=0.01) and seminal vesicle invasion (p<0.001) relative to biopsy Gleason 3+4. Biopsy Gleason 4+3 was associated with similar odds of adverse pathology relative to biopsy Gleason ≥4+4 (all p values >0.10), except higher-grade pathological tumors among men with biopsy Gleason ≥4+4 (p=0.001). After adjusting for multiple clinical characteristics, biopsy Gleason 4+3 was associated with increased recurrence risk relative to 3+4 (p=0.001), but similar progression risk as biopsy Gleason ≥4+4 (p=0.53). In the RP Gleason cohort and after adjustment for multiple clinicopathologic features, RP Gleason 4+3 was associated with increased progression risk relative to RP Gleason 3+4 (p=0.03), but similar progression risk as RP Gleason ≥4+4 (p= 0.24).
In a multicenter database using pooled data from multiple pathologists, Gleason scores 4+3 and ≥4+4 exhibited similar clinicopathologic outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3275808  PMID: 17826489
Prostate cancer; radical prostatectomy; Gleason; prostate biopsy; progression
13.  Prostate gland biopsies and prostatectomies: an Ontario community hospital experience 
Transrectal ultrasound–guided core biopsies of the prostate gland and prostatectomies have become common procedures at many community hospitals in Canada, especially in the era of serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for prostate cancer. The Gleason grading of prostate cancer in biopsies and prostatectomies is a major determinant used for treatment planning. There is evidence in the literature that suggests important discordance between community hospital pathologists and urological pathologists with respect to the Gleason grading of prostate cancer. Our objective was to determine the diagnostic rates and Gleason scoring patterns for prostate gland biopsies and prostatectomies at our institution compared with the literature.
We conducted a retrospective review of all prostate gland biopsies and prostatectomies performed at the Grey Bruce Health Services from January 2005 to September 2005. We collected data from 194 biopsies and 44 prostatectomies. We obtained prebiopsy serum PSA levels and digital rectal exam results for all patients from urologists’ office records.
The average age for men having biopsies was 65.8 (standard deviation [SD] 8.6) years, and the average prebiopsy serum PSA level was 8.7 (median 7.1, SD 6.2) μg/L. The rates of diagnosis from prostate gland biopsies of benign (17.6%), high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (11.0%), atypical small acinar proliferation suspicious for invasive malignancy (13.2%) and invasive prostatic adenocarcinoma (58.2%) at our institution were significantly different than those reported in the literature (p < 0.001). We observed a significant variation in the rates of these diagnoses among the community hospital pathologists in our study (p = 0.004). There was a strong correlation between the increasing number of positive core biopsy sites and increasing Gleason scores in biopsies (p < 0.001). There was also a strong correlation between increasing pre-biopsy serum PSA levels and increasing Gleason scores in biopsies (p < 0.001). A substantial proportion (21.9%) of the biopsies given the Gleason score of 6 had a Gleason score of 7 in the prostatectomy specimen.
Our results showed a significant difference in prostate gland biopsy categorical diagnoses compared with the literature. There were also significant differences in categorical diagnoses of prostate gland biopsies among the community hospital pathologists in our study. The data identify a strong positive correlation between the increasing number of positive core biopsy sites and increasing Gleason scores in biopsies, as well as a strong positive correlation between increasing prebiopsy serum PSA levels and increasing Gleason scores in biopsies that revealed cancer. We would encourage other community hospital pathologists, in collaboration with their urologists, to review periodically their prostate gland pathology practices in an attempt to improve the uniformity of diagnoses.
PMCID: PMC2572237  PMID: 18953449
14.  Pathological correlation between needle biopsy and radical prostatectomy specimen in patients with localized prostate cancer 
This study aims to evaluate the accuracy of transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) guided prostate biopsies in predicting pathological grading and tumour distribution in the final pathological specimen of patients who underwent radical prostatectomy for clinically localized prostate cancer. The study ultimately aims to gain more understanding of the pathological behaviour of prostate cancer and the limitations of the currently available diagnostic and prognostic tools.
Material and Methods
We reviewed the records of 100 patients with localized carcinoma of the prostate diagnosed by TRUS-guided prostate biopsy and treated with radical retropubic prostatectomy, comparing tumour laterality and Gleason score in core biopsies with tumour distribution and Gleason score of the surgical specimen. We then correlated both results to diagnostic and prognostic variables such as prostate specific antigen (PSA) values and surgical margins.
All 44 patients with bilateral disease on needle biopsy had bilateral disease on final pathology, with 15 of these patients (34%) having positive margins. Of the 56 patients with unilateral disease on biopsy, 37 (66%) had bilateral disease on final pathology; however, only 4 of them (7%) had positive margins (p < 0.001). Median Gleason score on final pathology was upgraded to 7, compared with a median score of 6 on biopsies. Stratifying patients to 2 groups based on their PSA level (group 1: PSA < 10 ng/mL, 72 patients; group 2: PSA > 10ng/mL, 28 patients), revealed that 57 patients (79%) in group 1 and 24 patients (85%) in group 2 had bilateral disease. In addition, 13 patients (18%) in group 1 and 6 patients (21%) in group 2 had positive margins.
Sixty-six percent of patients with unilateral disease on needle biopsy had bilateral disease on final pathology, but this does not increase their rate of having positive margins. Gleason score is upgraded from 6 to 7. PSA did not seem to affect laterality of disease in patients selected for radical prostatectomy.
PMCID: PMC2422971  PMID: 18542801
15.  Outcomes of Gleason Score ≤8 among High Risk Prostate Cancer Treated with 125I Low Dose Rate Brachytherapy Based Multimodal Therapy 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2013;54(5):1207-1213.
To investigate the role of low dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy-based multimodal therapy in high-risk prostate cancer (PCa) and analyze its optimal indications.
Materials and Methods
We reviewed the records of 50 high-risk PCa patients [clinical stage ≥T2c, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) >20 ng/mL, or biopsy Gleason score ≥8] who had undergone 125I LDR brachytherapy since April 2007. We excluded those with a follow-up period <3 years. Biochemical recurrence (BCR) followed the Phoenix definition. BCR-free survival rates were compared between the patients with Gleason score ≥9 and Gleason score ≤8.
The mean initial PSA was 22.1 ng/mL, and mean D90 was 244.3 Gy. During a median follow-up of 39.2 months, biochemical control was obtained in 72% (36/50) of the total patients; The estimated 3-year BCR-free survival was 92% for the patients with biopsy Gleason scores ≤8, and 40% for those with Gleason scores ≥9 (p<0.001). In Cox multivariate analysis, only Gleason score ≥9 was observed to be significantly associated with BCR (p=0.021). Acute and late grade ≥3 toxicities were observed in 20% (10/50) and 36% (18/50) patients, respectively.
Our results showed that 125I LDR brachytherapy-based multimodal therapy in high-risk PCa produced encouraging relatively long-term results among the Asian population, especially in patients with Gleason score ≤8. Despite small number of subjects, biopsy Gleason score ≥9 was a significant predictor of BCR among high risk PCa patients after brachytherapy.
PMCID: PMC3743192  PMID: 23918571
Prostate cancer; brachytherapy; high risk group; biochemical recurrence
16.  Outcome of surgery in locally advanced pT3a prostate cancer 
The aim of this study is to present the oncologic outcomes and to determine prognostic parameters of overall (OS), cancer specific survival (CSS), disease progression free survival (DPFS) and biochemical progression free survival (BPFS) after surgery for pT3a prostate cancer (PCa).
Material and methods
Between 2002 and 2007, a pT3a stage after radical prostatectomy was detected in 126 patients at our institution. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to calculate OS, CSS, DPFS and BPFS. Cox regression was used to identify predictive factors of survival.
Five-year OS, CSS, DPFS and BPFS rates were 96%, 98.7%, 97.3% and 60%, respectively. Among patients with prostate specific antigen (PSA) <10 ng/ml and PSA >20 ng/ml the 5-year OS was 98.8% and 80%, respectively, whereas 5-year BPFS was 66% and 16.6%, respectively. Survival was different when comparing surgery Gleason score ≤7 and ≥8. 5-year OS and BPFS were 98% vs. 80%, and 62.6% vs. 27.3%, respectively. Specimen Gleason score and preoperative PSA were significant predictors of BPFS. The risk of biochemical progression increased up to 2-fold when a Gleason score ≥8 was present at final pathology.
In locally advanced pT3 PCa, surgery can yield very good cancer control and survival rates especially in cases with PSA <10 ng/ml and Gleason score ≤7. PSA and Gleason score after surgery are the most significant predictors of outcomes after radical prostatectomy.
PMCID: PMC3921749  PMID: 24578895
prostate cancer; locally advanced; surgery; outcome
17.  Operator Dependent Choice of Prostate Cancer Biopsy Has Limited Impact on a Gene Signature Analysis for the Highly Expressed Genes IGFBP3 and F3 in Prostate Cancer Epithelial Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109610.
Predicting the prognosis of prostate cancer disease through gene expression analysis is receiving increasing interest. In many cases, such analyses are based on formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded (FFPE) core needle biopsy material on which Gleason grading for diagnosis has been conducted. Since each patient typically has multiple biopsy samples, and since Gleason grading is an operator dependent procedure known to be difficult, the impact of the operator's choice of biopsy was evaluated.
Multiple biopsy samples from 43 patients were evaluated using a previously reported gene signature of IGFBP3, F3 and VGLL3 with potential prognostic value in estimating overall survival at diagnosis of prostate cancer. A four multiplex one-step qRT-PCR test kit, designed and optimized for measuring the signature in FFPE core needle biopsy samples was used. Concordance of gene expression levels between primary and secondary Gleason tumor patterns, as well as benign tissue specimens, was analyzed.
The gene expression levels of IGFBP3 and F3 in prostate cancer epithelial cell-containing tissue representing the primary and secondary Gleason patterns were high and consistent, while the low expressed VGLL3 showed more variation in its expression levels.
The assessment of IGFBP3 and F3 gene expression levels in prostate cancer tissue is independent of Gleason patterns, meaning that the impact of operator's choice of biopsy is low.
PMCID: PMC4190108  PMID: 25296164
18.  Prostate cancer: Relationship between vascular diameter, shape and density and Gleason score in needle biopsy specimens 
Tumor growth requires expansion and development of vascular network. An increase in Gleason score is representative of an increase in tumor invasion and extent. In this study, the relationship between Gleason score and vascular characteristics of needle biopsy samples in prostate cancer patients has been evaluated.
Materials and Methods:
We evaluated vascular characteristics including density and size of vessels; and percentage of vessels with irregular shape in 62 cancer-positive samples obtained by prostate needle biopsy under ultrasound guide, and compared them to Gleason score.
Gleason scores of 23 patients were ≤6; Gleason scores of 18 patients were 7 and 21 patients had their Gleason score from 8 to 10. An increase in Gleason score was associated with increased vascular density (P < 0.0001), increased percentage of vessels with irregular shape (P < 0.02) and decreased average vascular diameter (P < 0.015), from which the relationship with vascular density was clearer and more evident.
Vascular morphological characteristics can be representative of angiogenic potential of prostate cancer which is required for tumor progression. As Gleason score can prognosticate the behavioral characteristics of prostate cancer in future, vascular characteristics may also be able to express tumor behavior. With attention to vascular characteristics in biopsy samples and apart from Gleason score, we may also be able to divide patients into other subtypes in a way being helpful for the establishment of treatment plan.
PMCID: PMC3732884  PMID: 23930248
Gleason score; prostate cancer; vessel density
19.  Maximum tumor diameter is not an independent prognostic factor in high-risk localized prostate cancer 
World Journal of Urology  2008;26(3):237-241.
Previous studies suggest that maximum tumor diameter (MTD) is a predictor of recurrence in prostate cancer (PC). This study investigates the prognostic value of MTD for biochemical recurrence (BCR) in patients with PC, after radical prostatectomy (RP), with emphasis on high-risk localized prostate cancer.
RP specimens of 542 patients were evaluated with a median follow-up of 39.5 months (range 0.6–150 months). MTD was defined as the largest diameter of the largest tumor; high-risk as ≥T2c or PSA level > 20 ng/ml or Gleason score ≥8 and BCR as two consecutive PSA levels > 0.10 ng/ml. Proportional hazards multivariable regression models were composed to determine prognostic factors for BCR.
Overall, 114 patients developed BCR after RP. The overall 5-year risk of BCR was 25% (95% CI = 20.4–29.6), and median MTD was 24 mm (range 1–65). MTD in the total and high-risk group was associated with total tumor volume, volume of the largest tumor, pre-operative PSA levels, and Gleason score. In a univariable analyses, MTD was weakly associated with risk of BCR (HR = 1.02 per mm increase, 95% CI = 1.002–1.035, P = 0.024) in the total group; in the high-risk group this association was lost (HR = 1.01, 95%CI = 0.99–1.03, P = 0.18). Multivariable analyses indicated that positive surgical margins, higher Gleason score, advanced pathological stage, and multiple tumors were the main prognostic factors for BCR irrespective of the risk profile. MTD did not provide additional information.
MTD is not an independent prognostic factor for BCR in patients treated with RP, irrespective of the risk profile.
PMCID: PMC2413091  PMID: 18265988
Prostate; Prostatectomy; Prognosis; Localized; High risk
20.  Positive surgical margins at radical prostatectomy: Population-based averages within PSA and Gleason strata 
Canadian Urological Association Journal  2013;7(9-10):E561-E566.
Positive surgical margins (PSM) are an important determinant of biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy (RP). We use a population-based cancer registry to evaluate PSM by stage, Gleason and prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
We identified men undergoing RP from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database between 2004 and 2007. Differences between those with and without PSM were compared with chi-squared tests. The proportion of cases with PSM were stratified by PSA and Gleason sum for both pT2 and pT3a tumours. Factors associated with PSM were analyzed using chi square and multivariate logistic regression analysis. A composite variable was used in a second multivariate analysis to display the odds ratio (OR) for a PSM for each discrete combination of PSA, Gleason score and pT stage
In total, 28 461 RP patients were identified and a PSM was present in 19.5%. PSM were 42% in pT3a and 16% in pT2 cases. Higher PSAs (<4.0, 4–9.9, >10) were associated with higher proportions of PSM (12%, 20% and 28%, p < 0.001). Similarly, higher Gleason scores (≤6, 3+4, 4+3, ≥8) were associated with higher PSM (12%, 22%, 27% and 33%, p < 0.001). For pT2 tumours, the proportion of PSM ranged from 8% (Gleason ≤6, PSA <4.0) to 28% (Gleason 8–10, PSA ≥10). For pT3a tumours, the PSM was higher in each Gleason/PSA strata compared to those with pT2 tumours, reaching 63% for those with pT3a, Gleason 8–10, PSA >10 disease. On multivariate analysis, stage was the largest predictor for PSM (OR 3.05, 95% confidence interval 2.81–3.30), although Gleason score and PSA remained statistically significant.
In this population-based study of PSM after RP, the proportion of PSM vary significantly within different PSA and Gleason strata for organ-confined and extracapsular disease. These data can be used as a reference for urologist self-assessment.
PMCID: PMC3776029  PMID: 24069096
21.  Upgrading and upstaging in prostate cancer: From prostate biopsy to radical prostatectomy 
Molecular and Clinical Oncology  2014;2(6):1145-1149.
Prostate cancer (CaP) is the most common malignancy in men and the second cause of cancer-related mortality after lung cancer. Several studies have evaluated the correlation between bioptic and pathological Gleason score (GS), documenting a correlation ranging between 30 and 60%. The aim of this study was the evaluation of the association between bioptic and pathological GS in a series of patients undergoing prostate needle biopsy and subsequent radical prostatectomy. We also aimed to evaluate the possible prognostic factors of upgrading and upstaging. We prospectively collected and retrospectively reviewed data from 300 consecutive patients who underwent radical retropubic or robot-assisted prostatectomy at our Institution. Patients who underwent prostate needle biopsy, transrectal or transperineal, with a minimum of 5 samples, were included in this study. Upgrading and downgrading were defined as increase or decrease, respectively, from one prognostic grade group to another, similar to up- or downstaging. The mean age of the patients was 62.97 years and the mean prostate-spesific antigen (PSA) level was 7.83 ng/ml. A total of 51.3% of the population underwent a transperineal prostate biopsy. The most frequently represented bioptic GS was 3+3 (64.0%) followed by 3+4=7 (15.6%); the most frequent pathological Gleason score was 3+4 (44.3%), followed by 3+3 (31.0%). With reagard to the bioptic GS 4-5-6 group, approximately half of the specimens (46.7%) were subsequently upgraded to GS 3+4, and 5.3% to 4+3. With regards to the bioptic GS 3+4 group, 57.4% was confirmed in the surgical specimen. In the 4+3 group, 23.5% of the cases was downgraded to 3+4 and 35.3% was confirmed. With regards to stage, ~39.7% of the patients received an upstaging on the pathological specimen. We evaluated the correlations between preoperative serum PSA level, prostate volume, digital rectal examination and biopsy type and none of the variables considered exhibited a correlation with any upgrading (P>0.05). Moreover, we evaluated the correlations between the aforementioned variables and upstaging and, at the multivariate analysis, only a serum PSA <4 ng/ml was found to be an independent variable predictive of upstaging (P=0.017). Therefore, new tools are required to predict upgrading and upstaging of our patients, in order to ensure better counseling for optimal treatment planning.
PMCID: PMC4179778  PMID: 25279213
prostate cancer; prostate biopsy; radical prostatectomy; upgrading; upstaging
22.  High testosterone levels in prostate tissue obtained by needle biopsy correlate with poor-prognosis factors in prostate cancer patients 
BMC Cancer  2014;14(1):717.
There is currently no consensus on the correlations between androgen concentrations in prostate tissue and blood and stage and pathological grade of prostate cancer. In this study, we used a newly-developed ultra-sensitive liquid-chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method to measure testosterone (T) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) concentrations in blood and needle biopsy prostate specimens from patients with prostate cancer.
We analyzed androgen levels in 196 men diagnosed with prostate cancer. All patients had undergone systematic needle biopsy, and an additional needle biopsy from the peripheral zone was conducted for the simultaneous determination of T and DHT. We analyzed the relationships between T and DHT levels in tissue and blood and Gleason score, clinical stage, and percentage of positive biopsy cores, using multivariate analysis.
The median T and DHT levels in blood were 3551.0 pg/mL and 330.5 pg/mL, respectively. There was a strong correlation between serum T and DHT. The median T and DHT levels in prostate tissue were 0.5667 pg/mg and 7.0625 pg/mg, respectively. In multivariate analysis, serum prostate-specific antigen and tissue T levels were significantly associated with poor prognosis; high T levels in prostate tissue were significantly related to high Gleason score (p = 0.041), advanced clinical stage (p = 0.002), and a high percentage of positive biopsy cores (p = 0.001).
The results of this study indicate that high T levels in prostate tissue are related to high Gleason score, advanced clinical stage, and a high percentage of positive biopsy cores in patients with prostate cancer. T level in needle biopsy specimens may therefore be a useful prognostic factor in prostate cancer patients.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-717) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4190297  PMID: 25256077
Prostate cancer; Androgen; Testosterone; Dihydrotestosterone
23.  The role of the maximum involvement of biopsy core in predicting outcome for patients treated with dose-escalated radiation therapy for prostate cancer 
To evaluate the influence of the maximum involvement of biopsy core (MIBC) on outcome for prostate cancer patients treated with dose-escalated external beam radiotherapy (EBRT).
Methods and materials
The outcomes of 590 men with localized prostate cancer treated with EBRT (≥75 Gy) at a single institution were retrospectively analyzed. The influence of MIBC on freedom from biochemical failure (FFBF), freedom from metastasis (FFM), cause-specific survival (CSS), and overall survival (OS) was compared to other surrogates for biopsy tumor volume, including the percentage of positive biopsy cores (PPC) and the total percentage of cancer volume (PCV).
MIBC correlated with PSA, T-stage, Gleason score, NCCN risk group, PPC, PCV, and treatment related factors. On univariate analysis, MIBC was prognostic for all endpoints except OS; with greatest impact in those with Gleason scores of 8–10. However, on multivariate analysis, MIBC was only prognostic for FFBF (hazard ratio [HR] 1.9, p = 0.008), but not for FFM (p = 0.19), CSS (p = 0.16), and OS (p = 0.99).
In patients undergoing dose-escalated EBRT, MIBC had the greatest influence in those with Gleason scores of 8–10 but provided no additional prognostic data as compared to PPC and PCV, which remain the preferable prognostic variables in this patient population.
PMCID: PMC3484035  PMID: 22852797
Prostate cancer; Biopsy; prognostic factors; Maximum involvement; Tumor in Core; Radiotherapy
24.  Upgrading of Gleason score on radical prostatectomy specimen compared to the pre-operative needle core biopsy: An Indian experience 
To assess the accuracy of Gleason grading/scoring on preoperative needle core biopsy (NCB) compared to the radical prostatectomy (RP) specimen.
Materials and Methods:
Data of NCB and RP specimens was analyzed in 193 cases. Gleason grade/scoring was done on both NCB and RP specimens. Sixteen cases were excluded for various reasons. The Gleason scores of the two sets of matched specimens were compared and also correlated with the PSA, age, and number of needle biopsy cores. The overall change was also correlated with the initial score on NCB.
The mean age and PSA were 63.3±2(5.27) years and 18.48±2(28.42) ng/ml, respectively. The average Gleason score increased from 5.51 ± 2(1.52) to 6.2 ± 2(1.42) (P<0.02). The primary grade increased in 57 (32.2%) cases. Overall, 97 (54.8%) cases had an increase in Gleason score. Five other cases had a change from 3 + 4 = 7 to 4 + 3 = 7. Change in Gleason score was significantly more if the score on NCB was ≤6 or number of needle cores was ≤6. Besides, 28 cases had perineural invasion, 16 had capsular invasion (pT3a), and 4 had vascular invasion on RP specimen.
There is a significant upgrading of Gleason score on RP specimens when compared with NCB. This trend may be correlated positively with lower initial Gleason score on preoperative biopsy and the lower number of cores taken.
PMCID: PMC2878439  PMID: 20535286
Cancer prostate; gleason grade; gleason score; needle core biopsy; radical prostatectomy
25.  The role of PSA density to predict a pathological tumour upgrade between needle biopsy and radical prostatectomy for low risk clinical prostate cancer in the modified Gleason system era 
Canadian Urological Association Journal  2013;7(11-12):E722-E727.
We evaluate the role of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) density to predict Gleason score upgrade between prostate biopsy material and radical prostatectomy specimen examination in patients with low-risk prostate cancer.
Between January 2007 and November 2011, 133 low-risk patients underwent a radical prostatectomy. Using the modified Gleason criteria, tumour grade of the surgical specimens was examined and compared to the biopsy results.
A tumour upgrade was noticed in 57 (42.9%) patients. Organ-confined disease was found in 110 (82.7%) patients, while extracapsular disease and seminal vesicles invasion was found in 19 (14.3%) and 4 (3.0%) patients, respectively. Positive surgical margins were reported in 23 (17.3%) patients. A statistical significant correlation between the preoperative PSA density value and postoperative upgrade was found (p = 0.001) and this observation had a predictive value (p = 0.002); this is in contrast to the other studied parameters which failed to reach significance, including PSA, percentage of cancer in biopsy and number of biopsy cores. Tumour upgrade was also highly associated with extracapsular cancer extension (p = 0.017) and the presence of positive surgical margins (p = 0.017).
PSA density represents a strong predictor for Gleason score upgrade after radical prostatectomy in patients with clinical low-risk disease. Since tumour upgrade increases the potential for postoperative pathological adverse findings and prognosis, PSA density should be considered when treating and consulting patients with low-risk prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3840515  PMID: 24282465

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