The 1997 TNM staging system for prostatic carcinoma and the 2002 revision thereof classified prostatic carcinoma with bladder neck involvement classified as pT4 disease. This classification is based on the belief that tumors that invade surrounding structures are more aggressive and warrant higher staging than tumors that do not invade surrounding structures. Recent reports in the literature suggested that microscopic involvement of the bladder neck does not carry independent prognostic significance. Therefore, resection specimens with bladder neck involvement should not be classified as pT4. The current study prospectively examined the prognostic significance of bladder neck involvement by prostatic carcinoma.
The authors analyzed the totally embedded and whole-mounted radical prostatectomy specimens from 364 consecutive patients. The mean patient age was 66 years (range, 41–77 years). The bladder neck, which had been coned from the specimen, was cut in a perpendicular fashion. Involvement of the bladder neck was defined as the presence of neoplastic cells within the smooth muscle bundles of the coned bladder neck. The data were prospectively collected. Bladder neck involvement was analyzed in relation to age, preoperative prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, prostate weight, Gleason score, final pathologic classification, tumor volume, surgical margin status, the presence of high-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasm, multifocality, seminal vesicle invasion, extraprostatic extension, perineural invasion, and PSA recurrence.
Bladder neck involvement was found in 22 (6%) of 364 patients. Univariate results indicated that bladder neck involvement versus no bladder neck involvement was significantly associated with preoperative PSA (P < 0.001), higher pathologic classification (P < 0.001), larger tumor volume (P< 0.001), extraprostatic extension (P < 0.001), positive surgical margins (P < 0.001), and PSA recurrence (P = 0.003). In a multivariate logistic regression model controlling for pathologic classification, Gleason score, and surgical margin status, bladder neck involvement was an independent predictor of PSA recurrence (P = 0.04). The adjusted odds ratio for bladder neck involvement was 3.3 (95% confidence interval, 1.04–10.03).
In the current study, bladder neck involvement was an independent predictor of early PSA recurrence. The data demonstrated the importance of continued assessment of bladder neck invasion and supported the placement of tumors with bladder neck involvement in a stage that recognizes the prognostic implications of such involvement. Cancer 2004. © 2004 American Cancer Society.