Purpose: Nonrandomized clinical trials have suggested that preoperative androgen deprivation can decrease the likelihood of positive surgical margins in patients with clinically localized prostate cancer. A multicenter prospective randomized trial compared radical prostatectomy alone to radical prostatectomy after 3 months of leuprolide acetate depot and flutamide in patients with stage cT2bNxM0 prostate cancer and a serum prostate specific antigen level less than 50 ng./ml. Materials and Methods: We randomized 149 patients to undergo androgen deprivation and 138 to undergo lymphadenectomy with (137) or without (1) prostatectomy. Of the 154 patients randomized to the surgery alone group 144 underwent pelvic node dissection with (138) or without (6) prostatectomy. Results: There was no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups in operating time, blood loss, need for transfusion, postoperative morbidity or length of hospital stay. There were 4 rectal and 2 ureteral injuries in the surgery alone group and none in the pretreatment group (p less than 0.05). Patients who received androgen deprivation preoperatively had a significantly lower rate of capsule penetration (47 percent versus 78 percent, p less than 0.001), positive surgical margins (18 percent versus 48 percent, p less than 0.001) and tumor at the urethral margin (6 percent versus 17 percent, p less than 0.01). Conclusions: Long-term followup data will be needed to determine whether there will be a lower incidence of biochemical relapse as determined by prostate specific antigen, local recurrence or metastasis, with an improvement in patient survival.
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