A Tertiary Gleason Pattern in the Prostatectomy Specimen and its Association with Adverse Outcome after Radical Prostatectomy

  • PURPOSE: The prognostic significance of a tertiary Gleason pattern in the radical prostatectomy specimen is controversial. We tested the impact of a tertiary Gleason pattern on adverse histopathological features and biochemical recurrence rates after radical prostatectomy.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: We assessed data on 11,226 consecutive patients treated with radical prostatectomy at our institution between June 2007 and February 2013. We compared 2,396 patients with (22.4%) and 8,260 without (77.5%) a tertiary Gleason pattern for adverse histopathological features (extraprostatic extension, seminal vesicle invasion, positive surgical margins and lymph node invasion) using the chi-square test. The effect of a tertiary Gleason pattern on biochemical recurrence was tested in univariable and multivariable models. Subanalyses were then done for different radical prostatectomy Gleason groups (6 or less, 3 + 4 and 4 + 3).

    RESULTS: A tertiary Gleason pattern was statistically significantly associated with all evaluated histopathological parameters (each p <0.001). It was an independent predictor of biochemical recurrence (HR 1.43, p <0.001). On subanalysis only a tertiary Gleason pattern independently predicted biochemical recurrence in the patient cohort with a radical prostatectomy Gleason score of 3 + 4 and 4 + 3. However, it failed to attain independent predictor status in patients with a radical prostatectomy Gleason score of 6 or less.

    CONCLUSIONS: A tertiary Gleason pattern is a significant and independent predictor of biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy with the strongest prognostic effect in cases with Gleason scores 3 + 4 and 4 + 3. Therefore, a tertiary Gleason pattern should be recorded in the pathological report.

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