We validated the current NCCN (National Comprehensive Cancer Network®) classification of very high risk patients, and compared the pathological, functional and oncologic outcomes between surgically treated high risk and very high risk patients.Materials and Methods:
We retrospectively analyzed 4,041 patients stratified into high risk or very high risk groups who underwent radical prostatectomy between 1992 and 2016. Kaplan-Meier as well as multivariable logistic and Cox regression analyses were used to compare outcomes between the groups.Results:
After radical prostatectomy the rate of adverse pathological features was higher in 1,369 very high risk vs 2,672 high risk cases. Functional outcomes were similar between the groups, with 1-year continence and potency rates of 81.0% and 43.6% in the very high risk compared to 81.9% and 45.2% in the high risk group, respectively (p = 0.7 and p = 0.9). In a subset of 1,835 patients who underwent radical prostatectomy between 1992 and 2011 (median followup 58.8 months, IQR 36.5–84.6), those with very high risk disease had significantly worse 5 and 8-year biochemical recurrence-free survival, metastatic progression-free survival, prostate cancer specific mortality-free survival and overall survival rates compared to those with high risk disease.Conclusions:
Despite the relatively poor prognosis of patients with high risk prostate cancer, radical prostatectomy results in favorable 5 and 8-year metastatic progression-free survival, prostate cancer specific mortality-free survival and overall survival rates. Relative to high risk cases, their very high risk counterparts have significantly worse pathological and oncologic outcomes, and more frequently require additional therapies. These observations validate the stratification between high risk and very high risk in European patients with prostate cancer. Interestingly, very high risk patients treated with radical prostatectomy did not have a worse functional outcome than their high risk counterparts.