AIMS: To assess the importance of immunohistological detection of beta-human chorionic gonadotrophin (beta hCG) in localised prostatic adenocarcinoma with regard to prognosis and clinical applications. METHODS: Eighty consecutive cases of clinically localised adenocarcinoma of the prostate were studied retrospectively. Immunohistological analysis on formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded prostate tissue from transurethral resections was related to clinical outcome and survival. Prognosis was also related to tumour grade. RESULTS: beta hCG was detected in 12 cases. Nine of these patients were found to have metastases (75%) at follow up and 11 (92%) were dead within 18 months. There was no correlation with grade and prognosis in this group. Of the 68 beta hCG negative cases, 21 had developed metastases (31%) and 25 (37%) had died within 18 months. In the beta hCG negative group there was an association between histological grade and survival. CONCLUSION: The demonstration of beta hCG in prostatic adenocarcinoma identifies a group of patients with poor prognosis, irrespective of histological grade. This additional information will be extremely valuable in the subsequent clinical management of such patients.
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