Blinded review of archival radical prostatectomy specimens supports that contemporary Gleason score 6 prostate cancer lacks metastatic potential.

Retrospective identification of Gleason pattern 4 in metastatic Gleason score 3 + 3 = 6 (GS6) radical prostatectomy (RP) specimens has suggested true GS6 prostate cancer (CaP) lacks metastatic potential. However, pathologist awareness of study design and metastasis outcomes at the time of RP review might have introduced upgrading bias. We used pathologist-blinded methodology for unbiased characterization of metastasis rates for contemporarily defined pathologic GS6 (pGS6) CaP.

An institutional RP database was queried to identify pGS6 patients with metastasis or concern for micrometastasis based on: 1) biochemical failure (BF) despite negative surgical margins or 2) incomplete biochemical response to salvage/adjuvant radiation. RP specimens were regraded independently by two genitourinary pathologists blinded to study aims or clinical outcomes. Additional blinding was performed by random inclusion of pGS6 control specimens from BF-free patients. Only upgrading identified independently by both pathologists was considered.

Among 451 pGS6 patients identified, none had synchronous lymph node metastases and 43/451 (10%) suffered BF. Two patients (0.4%) developed metachronous metastasis during a 110-month median follow-up for BF patients. Both metastatic cases had Gleason pattern 4 on blinded RP review, as did 88% of cases with concern for micrometastasis versus 38% of control cases (P = 0.02). All BF patients (29/29) undergoing postoperative radiation had a complete biochemical response or Gleason pattern 4 on blinded RP review.

Unbiased pathologist review of archival RP specimens supports absent metastatic potential for contemporarily defined GS6 CaP. Reduced postoperative monitoring is appropriate for pGS6, but may require pathology review to confirm absent Gleason pattern 4.

The Prostate. 2017 May 26 [Epub]

Luciano A Nunez Bragayrac, Christine Murekeyisoni, Michael J Vacchio, Kristopher Attwood, Diana C Mehedint, James L Mohler, Gissou Azabdaftari, Bo Xu, Eric C Kauffman

Department of Urology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY., Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY., Department of Pathology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY.