Open Access Open Badges Research article

Prostate volume and biopsy tumor length are significant predictors for classical and redefined insignificant cancer on prostatectomy specimens in Japanese men with favorable pathologic features on biopsy

Masahiro Yashi1*, Tomoya Mizuno1, Hideo Yuki1, Akinori Masuda1, Tsunehito Kambara1, Hironori Betsunoh1, Hideyuki Abe1, Yoshitatsu Fukabori1, Osamu Muraishi2, Koyu Suzuki3, Yoshimasa Nakazato4 and Takao Kamai1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Urology, Dokkyo Medical University, 880 Kitakobayashi, Mibu, Shimotsuga, Tochigi 321-0293, Japan

2 Department of Urology, St. Luke’s International Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

3 Department of Pathology, St. Luke’s International Hospital, Tokyo, Japan

4 Department of Pathology, Dokkyo Medical University, Tochigi, Japan

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BMC Urology 2014, 14:43  doi:10.1186/1471-2490-14-43

Published: 29 May 2014



Gleason pattern 3 less often has molecular abnormalities and often behaves indolent. It is controversial whether low grade small foci of prostate cancer (PCa) on biopsy could avoid immediate treatment or not, because substantial cases harbor unfavorable pathologic results on prostatectomy specimens. This study was designed to identify clinical predictors for classical and redefined insignificant cancer on prostatectomy specimens in Japanese men with favorable pathologic features on biopsy.


Retrospective review of 1040 PCa Japanese patients underwent radical prostatectomy between 2006 and 2013. Of those, 170 patients (16.3%) met the inclusion criteria of clinical stage ≤ cT2a, Gleason score (GS) ≤ 6, up to two positive biopsies, and no more than 50% of cancer involvement in any core. The associations between preoperative data and unfavorable pathologic results of prostatectomy specimens, and oncological outcome were analyzed. The definition of insignificant cancer consisted of pathologic stage ≤ pT2, GS ≤ 6, and an index tumor volume < 0.5 mL (classical) or 1.3 mL (redefined).


Pathologic stage ≥ pT3, upgraded GS, index tumor volume ≥ 0.5 mL, and ≥ 1.3 mL were detected in 25 (14.7%), 77 (45.3%), 83 (48.8%), and 53 patients (31.2%), respectively. Less than half of cases had classical (41.2%) and redefined (47.6%) insignificant cancer. The 5-year recurrence-free survival was 86.8%, and the insignificant cancers essentially did not relapse regardless of the surgical margin status. MRI-estimated prostate volume, tumor length on biopsy, prostate-specific antigen density (PSAD), and findings of magnetic resonance imaging were associated with the presence of classical and redefined insignificant cancer. Large prostate volume and short tumor length on biopsy remained as independent predictors in multivariate analysis.


Favorable features of biopsy often are followed by adverse pathologic findings on prostatectomy specimens despite fulfilling the established criteria. The finding that prostate volume is important does not simply mirror many other studies showing PSAD is important, and the clinical criteria for risk assessment before definitive therapy or active surveillance should incorporate these significant factors other than clinical T-staging or PSAD to minimize under-estimation of cancer in Japanese patients with low-risk PCa.

Predictive factor; Insignificant cancer; Index tumor volume; Prostate volume; Biopsy tumor length