Hormone-resistant prostate cancer with symptomatic pelvic tumours: patient survival and prognostic factors

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ObjectivesTo determine the survival and investigate the prognostic significance of immunohistochemical variables and clinical factors in patients with hormone-resistant prostate cancer (HRPC) and symptomatic pelvic tumours, in whom preliminary observations indicated that survival exceeded the median 8–10 months of patients with HRPC and painful bone metastases.Patients and methodsSeventy-five patients with HRPC referred for palliative pelvic radiotherapy between 1980 and 1996 were identified. For all patients at least two prostate biopsies had been obtained, one before primary hormone treatment and at least one after clinical progression despite androgen deprivation (HRPC biopsy). Bone scans at the time of referral were assessed. The medical records were reviewed for clinical variables of possible prognostic significance. Histological grade was recorded, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA), androgen receptors (ARs), Ki-67 and p53 determined immunohistochemically. In 18 HRPC specimens the degree of AR amplification was analysed.ResultsPositive staining for ARs was high in the HRPC biopsies, although there was no association with AR amplification. Ki-67 positivity increased after the development of HRPC. The median (range) survival was 14 (1–141) months; age < 65 years was associated with increased survival. In a multivariate analysis the following variables remained independent prognostic factors for survival from the time of the HRPC biopsy: bone metastases (0–10 vs > 10 lesions, P < 0.001), low Ki-67 score (0 vs 1–3, P = 0.006) and low p53 positivity score (0 vs 1–3, P = 0.014) in the HRPC biopsy.ConclusionsThe median survival of patients with HRPC and pelvic tumours requiring palliation seems to exceed that of patients with HRPC and dominating painful bone metastases by at least 4–6 months. Simple clinical (bone metastases) and immunohistochemical variables (Ki-67, p53) enable patients with particularly long survival times to be identified, and in whom palliative treatment needs to be improved.

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