High-risk prostate cancer: From definition to contemporary management

Patrick J. Bastian, Stephen A. Boorjian, Alberto Bossi, Alberto Briganti, Axel Heidenreich, Stephen J. Freedland, Francesco Montorsi, MacK Roach, Fritz Schröder, Hein Van Poppel, Christian G. Stief, Andrew J. Stephenson, Michael J. Zelefsky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Context: High-risk prostate cancer (PCa) is a potentially lethal disease. It is clinically important to identify patients with high-risk PCa early on because they stand to benefit the most from curative therapy. Because of recent advances in PCa management, a multimodal approach may be advantageous. Objective: Define high-risk PCa, and identify the best diagnostic and treatment patterns for patients with clinically localized and locally advanced disease. A critical analysis of published results following monomodal and/or multimodal therapy for high-risk PCa patients was also performed. Evidence acquisition: A review of the literature was performed using the Medline, Embase, Scopus, and Web of Science databases as well as the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Evidence synthesis: High-risk PCa accounts for ≤15% of all new diagnoses. Compared with patients with low- and intermediate-risk PCa, patients with high-risk PCa are at increased risk of treatment failure. Unfortunately, no contemporary randomized controlled trials comparing different treatment modalities exist. Evaluation of the results published to date shows that no single treatment can be universally recommended. Most often, a multimodal approach is warranted to optimize patient outcomes. Conclusions: A significant minority of patients continue to present with high-risk PCa, which remains lethal in some cases. Outcomes following treatment of men with high-risk tumors have not substantially improved over time. However, not all high-risk patients are at the same risk of PCa progression and death. At present, a multimodal approach seems the best way to achieve acceptable outcomes for high-risk PCa patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1096-1106
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Androgen-deprivation therapy
  • Biomarker
  • High-risk prostate cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radical prostatectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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