Objectives. Clinical staging of prostate cancer is inaccurate, often with significant upstaging on final pathologic review. We previously demonstrated the ability to predict extraprostatic extension of cancer by use of the Gleason score and serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) measurements. Herein we present an interim analysis of data from an ongoing multi- institutional study to determine the predictive power of an enhancement of microvessel density analysis in combination with Gleason score and serum PSA to predict extraprostatic extension. Methods. We evaluated a total of 186 randomly selected needle biopsy samples and matched totally embedded radical prostatectomy samples with preoperative PSA concentrations and patient demographics. Gleason score and optimized microvessel density (OMVD) were determined from the needle biopsy samples; pathologic stage was verified by independent review of the radical prostatectomy samples. An automated digital image analysis system measured microvessel morphology and calculated the OMVD in the biopsy samples (Biostage; Bard Diagnostic Sciences, Seattle, Wash). Results. Prediction of extraprostatic extension was increased significantly when OMVD analysis was added to Gleason score and serum PSA concentration (P = 0.003). Conclusions. Optimized microvessel density analysis significantly increases the ability to predict extraprostatic extension of cancer preoperatively when combined with Gleason score and serum PSA concentration. This method appears to be a useful tool that can assist with treatment decisions in selected patients.
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