Effects of perineural invasion on biochemical recurrence and prostate cancer-specific survival in patients treated with definitive external beam radiotherapy

Luke C. Peng, Amol K. Narang, Carol Gergis, Noura A. Radwan, Peijin Han, Ariel E. Marciscano, Scott P. Robertson, Pei He, Janson Trieu, Ashwin N. Ram, Todd R. McNutt, Emily Griffith, Theodore A. DeWeese, Stephanie Honig, Harleen Singh, Stephen C. Greco, Phuoc T. Tran, Curtiland Deville, Theodore L. DeWeese, Daniel Y. Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Perineural invasion (PNI) has not yet gained universal acceptance as an independent predictor of adverse outcomes for prostate cancer treated with external beam radiotherapy (EBRT). We analyzed the prognostic influence of PNI for a large institutional cohort of prostate cancer patients who underwent EBRT with and without androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Material and methods: We, retrospectively, reviewed prostate cancer patients treated with EBRT from 1993 to 2007 at our institution. The primary endpoint was biochemical failure-free survival (BFFS), with secondary endpoints of metastasis-free survival (MFS), prostate cancer-specific survival (PCSS), and overall survival (OS). Univariate and multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were constructed for all survival endpoints. Hazard ratios for PNI were analyzed for the entire cohort and for subsets defined by NCCN risk level. Additionally, Kaplan-Meier survival curves were generated for all survival endpoints after stratification by PNI status, with significant differences computed using the log-rank test. Results: Of 888 men included for analysis, PNI was present on biopsy specimens in 187 (21.1%). PNI was associated with clinical stage, pretreatment PSA level, biopsy Gleason score, and use of ADT (all P<0.01). Men with PNI experienced significantly inferior 10-year BFFS (40.0% vs. 57.8%, P = 0.002), 10-year MFS (79.7% vs. 89.0%, P = 0.001), and 10-year PCSS (90.9% vs. 95.9%, P = 0.009), but not 10-year OS (67.5% vs. 77.5%, P = 0.07). On multivariate analysis, PNI was independently associated with inferior BFFS (P<0.001), but not MFS, PCSS, or OS. In subset analysis, PNI was associated with inferior BFFS (P = 0.04) for high-risk patients and with both inferior BFFS (P = 0.01) and PCSS (P = 0.05) for low-risk patients. Biochemical failure occurred in 33% of low-risk men with PNI who did not receive ADT compared to 8% for low-risk men with PNI treated with ADT (P = 0.01). Conclusion: PNI was an independently significant predictor of adverse survival outcomes in this large institutional cohort, particularly for patients with NCCN low-risk disease. PNI should be carefully considered along with other standard prognostic factors when treating these patients with EBRT. Supplementing EBRT with ADT may be beneficial for select low-risk patients with PNI though independent validation with prospective studies is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309.e7-309.e14
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • External beam radiation therapy
  • PNI
  • Perineural invasion
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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