INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: The aim of our study was to verify the impact of benign and malignant residual glandular tissue on surgical bed after radical prostatectomy, in terms of both biochemical and clinical disease progression, in a group of patients with pathologically organ-confined cancer of the prostate (PCa). MATERIAL AND METHODS: Files from 70 consecutive patients who undergone radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) for organ-confined PCa were retrospectively evaluated. During each intervention, after prostate removal, biopsies of the surgical bed were obtained from the following sites: urethral/periapical section margin, basal, left and right postero-lateral and under/retrotrigonal regions. No patient was been previously treated with either radiation or hormone therapy. We evaluated the relationship between the presence of either benign or malignant prostatic cells at surgical bed biopsies and the following parameters: postoperative serum PSA levels, definitive Gleason score, tumour staging, margin status. RESULTS: In all cases pathological stage was pT2NOMO, an immediate postoperative PSA zeroing occurred and surgical margins were negative. Surgical bed biopsies after prostate removal were positive for malignant cells in 5/70 cases (7.1%) and for benign prostatic cells in 16/70 patients (22.9%). Overall a biochemical disease progression was observed in 13/70 cases (18.6%): 1 case with surgical bed biopsies positive for cancer; 3 cases with biopsies positive for benign prostatic tissue; 9 patients with biopsies negative for prostatic tissue residuals. In this latter group 2 cases of disease progression were observed. Stratifying patients according to biopsy features, we did not find any significant difference between groups concerning preoperative PSA (p = 0.319), prostate weight (p = 0.158), pathological staging (p = 0.371), Gleason score (p = 0.457), follow-up (p = 0.144), biochemical progression rates (p = 0.553). At logistic regression model the only statistically significant association was between disease progression and preoperative PSA (p = 0.026). Stratifying patients with no malignant biopsies in two subgroups (presence and absence of residual benign prostate tissue) no statistically significant differences were detected in terms of disease relapse (p = 0.158). CONCLUSIONS: In patients with pathologically organ-confined PCa, minimal neoplastic tissue residuals might not significantly affect medium-long-term prognosis: 80% of patients with positive biopsy showed undetectable serum PSA levels after a median follow-up over 5 years. In contrast, surgical margins positive for benign prostatic glands was not significantly related to a possible disease relapse/progression.
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