20-year survival after radical prostatectomy as initial treatment for cT3 prostate cancer


R. Jeffrey Karnes, Department of Urology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA. e-mail: karnes.r@mayo.edu


Study Type – Therapy (case series)

Level of Evidence 4

What's known on the subject? and What does the study add?

Despite a lack of randomised controlled trials, most men with locally advanced prostate cancer are recommended to undergo external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), often combined with long-term androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT). Many of these men are not offered radical prostatectomy (RP) by their treating urologist. Additionally, it is know that EBRT with long-term ADT does provide good cancer control (88% at 10 years). We have previously published intermediate-term follow-up of a large series of men treatment with RP for cT3 prostate cancer.

We report long-term follow-up of a large series of men treated with RP as primary treatment for cT3 prostate cancer. Our study shows that with long-term follow-up RP provides excellent oncological outcomes even at 20 years. While most men do require a multimodal treatment approach, many men can be managed successfully with RP alone.


  • • To present long-term survival outcomes after radical prostatectomy (RP) for patients with cT3 prostate cancer, as the optimal treatment for patients with clinical T3 prostate cancer is debated.


  • • We identified 843 men who underwent RP for cT3 tumours between 1987 and 1997.
  • • Survival was estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method.
  • • Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to evaluate the association of clinicopathological features with outcome


  • • The median (range) postoperative follow-up was 14.3 (0.1–23.5) years.
  • • Down-staging to pT2 disease occurred in 26% (223/843) at surgery.
  • • Local recurrence-free, systemic progression-free and cancer-specific survival for men with cT3 prostate cancer after RP was 76%, 72%, and 81%, respectively, at 20 years.
  • • On multivariate analysis, increasing RP Gleason score (hazard ratio [HR] 1.8; P= 0.01), non-diploid chromatin content (HR 1.8; P= 0.01), positive surgical margins (HR 2.1; P= 0.007), and seminal vesicle invasion (HR 2.1; P= 0.005) were associated with a significant risk of prostate cancer death, while a more recent year of surgery was associated with a decreased risk of cancer-specific mortality (HR 0.88; P= 0.01)


  • • RP affords accurate pathological staging and may be associated with durable cancer control for cT3 prostate cancer, with 20 years of follow-up presented here.
  • • RP as part of a multimodal treatment strategy therefore remains a viable treatment option for patients with cT3 tumours.