Objectives. Elevation of serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) after radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer is considered a surrogate marker of therapeutic failure. The most likely explanation for early PSA failure is considered to be due to local recurrent disease, provided the patient had a nondetectable PSA level after radical prostatectomy. Others have recently suggested that benign prostatic glands located on the surgical margins may often lead to detectable PSA levels. We examined the frequency of benign prostatic glands at the surgical margins of radical prostatectomy specimens and the factors associated with this finding.Methods. One hundred nineteen consecutive radical prostatectomies were performed by two experienced oncologic surgeons. Whole-mount sectioning of the prostatectomy specimens was performed at 3-mm intervals. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine which clinical and pathologic factors were associated with benign glands on inked surgical margins.Results. Of the 119 cases, 13 (11%) had benign glands on the inked surgical margins. Four of these 13 had tumor on the inked margins. The remaining 9 cases (8%) were organ confined (pT2), with negative surgical margins. Benign glands were most often seen to involve the apex focally (7 of 9 cases). On bivariate and multivariate analyses, a high Gleason score and prostate gland volume were significantly associated with finding benign glands on the surgical margins. Only 2 of 86 patients with follow-up had PSA recurrence at 59 and 67 days and neither had benign glands on the inked surgical margins.Conclusions. The presence of benign prostatic glands identified on inked surgical margins was an infrequent occurrence in this consecutive series of 119 whole-mount prostatectomy specimens. When benign glands were identified, they most often consisted of 1 to 3 glands at the apex margin. These findings suggest that benign glands on surgical margins are an unusual cause of postoperative detectable PSA. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
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