Correlation of minute (0.5 mm or less) focus of prostate adenocarcinoma on needle biopsy with radical prostatectomy specimen: Role of prostate specific antigen density

Robert W. Allan, Harriete Sanderson, Jonathan I. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Few studies have examined the radical prostatectomy followup of a minute focus of adenocarcinoma on prostate needle core biopsy. Materials and Methods: We searched the surgical pathology data base (1999 to 2000) for patients with a minute focus of Gleason score 6 adenocarcinoma (defined as a single focus less than or equal to a 40 × microscopic field) who subsequently underwent radical retropubic prostatectomy at our institution. Potentially insignificant tumors were defined as those with a radical prostatectomy tumor volume of less than 0.5 cc, Gleason score 6 or less and organ confined disease. Results: A total of 54 patients (mean age 58 years, range 45 to 70) were evaluated. The average number of prostate cores per biopsy was 6.3. All had Gleason score 6 by study design. Mean prostate specific antigen (PSA) was 6.0 (range 0.8 to 15). Average tumor volume at radical prostatectomy was 0.39 cc. Of the 54 tumors 24 (44%) were 0.1 cc or less. Two-thirds of the tumors were clinically potentially insignificant. Using a PSA density (PSAD) cutoff of 0.15 we identified 30 of 36 patients (83%) with potentially insignificant tumors. Of those with a PSAD of 0.15 or less with clinically significant tumors, 5 of 6 still had relatively small, organ confined tumors with Gleason score less than 7. Conclusions: In the era of PSA screening most patients with a minute focus of Gleason score 6 or less adenocarcinoma on needle biopsy had potentially insignificant tumors. However, one-third of patients had clinically significant tumors warranting definitive therapy. The smallest focus of cancer on needle biopsy is not a guarantee of a clinically insignificant tumor. PSAD may have some value within this group in guiding clinicians and patients as to the likelihood of having clinically insignificant tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-372
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003



  • Biopsy, needle
  • Prostate, prostatic neoplasms, predictive value of tests
  • Prostatectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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