The radial distance of extraprostatic extension of prostate carcinoma: Implications for prostate brachytherapy

Brian J. Davis, Thomas M. Pisansky, Torrence M. Wilson, Harold J. Rothenberg, Anna Pacelli, David W. Hillman, Daniel J. Sargent, David G. Bostwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Extraprostatic extension (EPE) is an unfavorable prognostic factor in patients with prostate carcinoma. Prior studies have reported the linear extent of EPE measured circumferentially along the edge of the prostate. In this study, the authors defined and evaluated a novel measure of EPE in a large series of radical prostatectomy specimens. These results have important clinical implications in the management of localized prostate carcinoma by brachytherapy and other modalities. METHODS. The authors reviewed the preoperative records and biopsy findings from 376 patients who underwent radical retropubic prostatectomy between September 1991 and June 1993. Whole mount radical prostatectomy specimens were examined, and the location of EPE for each specimen was recorded. The radial EPE distance was measured perpendicular to the edge of the prostate. For specimens with multiple EPE sites, the maximum radial EPE distance was recorded. Established eligibility criteria for prostate brachytherapy were evaluated using these results, with emphasis placed on achieving adequate radiation dose coverage 3-5 mm beyond the capsule or the edge of the prostate. RESULTS. EPE was identified in 105 of 376 specimens (28%) at 248 sites. The radial EPE distance in these specimens had a mean of 0.8 mm (range, 0.04-4.4 mm) and a median of 0.5 mm. Of these 105 patients, the median and mean preoperative prostate specific antigen (PSA) concentrations were 11.8 ng/mL and 17.9 ng/mL, respectively. The mean and range of the Gleason score and prostate volume for all specimens were 6.3 (range, 3-9) and 39 cc (range, 8-294 cc), respectively. In 107 patients who met the selection criteria for prostate brachytherapy eligibility of a PSA level < 10 ng/mL, Gleason score < 7, and gland volume < 60 cc, the maximum and mean radial EPE distances were 0.6 mm and 0.03 mm, respectively. CONCLUSIONS. The radial distance of EPE is an important measure that influences treatment strategies for patients with localized prostate carcinoma. Currently described criteria for the treatment of early stage prostate carcinoma by brachytherapy alone appear satisfactory to ensure effective radiation dose coverage of EPE of prostate tumors. Treating the prostate with a 3-5 mm margin by brachytherapy would encompass all known tumor in approximately 99% of the specimens examined in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2630-2637
Number of pages8
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 1999


  • Brachytherapy
  • Extraprostatic extension
  • Pathology
  • Prostatectomy
  • Prostatic neoplasms/pathology
  • Prostatic neoplasms/surgery
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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