Perineural Invasion is a Marker for Pathologically Advanced Disease in Localized Prostate Cancer

Irwin H. Lee, Rebecca Roberts, Rajal B. Shah, Kirk J. Wojno, John T. Wei, Howard M. Sandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine if perineural invasion (PNI) should be included in addition to prostate-specific antigen (PSA), biopsy Gleason score, and clinical T-stage for risk-stratification of patients with localized prostate cancer. Methods and Materials: We analyzed prostatectomy findings for 1550 patients, from a prospectively collected institutional database, to determine whether PNI was a significant predictor for upgrading of Gleason score or pathologic T3 disease after patients were stratified into low-, intermediate-, and high-risk groups (on the basis of PSA, biopsy Gleason score, and clinical T-stage). Results: For the overall population, PNI was associated with a significantly increased frequency of upgrading and of pathologic T3 disease. After stratification, PNI was still associated with significantly increased odds of pathologic T3 disease within each risk group. In particular, for low-risk patients, there was a markedly increased risk of extraprostatic extension (23% vs. 7%), comparable to that of intermediate-risk patients. Among high-risk patients, PNI was associated with an increased risk of seminal vesicle invasion and lymph node involvement. Furthermore, over 80% of high-risk patients with PNI were noted to have an indication for postoperative radiation. Conclusions: Perineural invasion may be useful for risk-stratification of prostate cancer. Our data suggest that low-risk patients with PNI on biopsy may benefit from treatment typically reserved for those with intermediate-risk disease. In addition, men with high-risk disease and PNI, who are contemplating surgery, should be informed of the high likelihood of having an indication for postoperative radiation therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1059-1064
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 15 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Gleason score
  • Pathologic stage
  • Perineural invasion
  • Prostate cancer
  • Risk stratification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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