• high-risk;
  • minimally-invasive surgery;
  • prostate cancer;
  • radical prostatectomy

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

  • The ideal treatment for men with high-risk prostate cancer is controversial, although most physicians agree that a multimodal approach, including radiation and hormone therapy with or without surgery, offers the best chance of cancer control. Minimally-invasive radical prostatectomy has emerged as a treatment option for clinically localized cancer; however, critics argue that the open approach may afford advantages of tactile feedback and a better lymph node dissection.
  • The present study demonstrates that open and minimally-invasive radical prostatectomy offer equivalent short-term outcomes for men with high-risk prostate cancer at a highly experienced centre.


  • To analyze pathological and short-term oncological outcomes in men undergoing open and minimally-invasive radical prostatectomy (MIRP) for high-risk prostate cancer (HRPC; prostate-specific antigen level [PSA] >20 ng/mL, ≥ cT2c, Gleason score 8–10) in a contemporaneous series.

Patients and Methods

  • In total, 913 patients with HRPC were identified in the Johns Hopkins Radical Prostatectomy Database subsequent to the inception of MIRP at this institution (2002–2011)
  • Of these, 743 (81.4%) underwent open radical retropubic prostatectomy (ORRP), 105 (11.5%) underwent robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RALRP) and 65 (7.1%) underwent laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP) for HRPC.
  • Appropriate comparative tests were used to evaluate patient and prostate cancer characteristics.
  • Proportional hazards regression models were used to predict biochemical recurrence.


  • Age, race, body mass index, preoperative PSA level, clinical stage, number of positive cores and Gleason score at final pathology were similar between ORRP and MIRP.
  • On average, men undergoing MIRP had smaller prostates and more organ-confined (pT2) disease (P = 0.02).
  • The number of surgeons and surgeon experience were greatest for the ORRP cohort.
  • Overall surgical margin rate was 29.4%, 34.3% and 27.7% (P = 0.52) and 1.9%, 2.9% and 6.2% (P = 0.39) for pT2 disease in men undergoing ORRP, RALRP and LRP, respectively.
  • Biochemical recurrence-free survival among ORRP, RALRP and LRP was 56.3%, 67.8% and 41.1%, respectively, at 3 years (P = 0.6) and the approach employed did not predict biochemical recurrence in regression models.


  • At an experienced centre, MIRP is comparable to open radical prostatectomy for HRPC with respect to surgical margin status and biochemical recurrence.