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BackgroundDuctal adenocarcinoma is an uncommon prostate cancer variant. Previous studies suggest that ductal variant histology may be associated with worse clinical outcomes, but these are difficult to interpret. To address this, we performed an international, multi-institutional study to describe the characteristics of ductal adenocarcinoma, particularly focussing on the effect of presence of ductal variant cancer on metastasis-free survival.MethodsPatients with ductal variant histology from two institutional databases who underwent radical prostatectomies were identified and compared with an independent acinar adenocarcinoma cohort. After propensity score matching, the effect of the presence of ductal adenocarcinoma on time to biochemical recurrence, initiation of salvage therapy and the development of metastatic disease was determined. Deep whole-exome sequencing was performed for selected cases (n = 8).ResultsA total of 202 ductal adenocarcinoma and 2037 acinar adenocarcinoma cases were analysed. Survival analysis after matching demonstrated that patients with ductal variant histology had shorter salvage-free survival (8.1 versus 22.0 months, p = 0.03) and metastasis-free survival (6.7 versus 78.6 months, p ConclusionsThe presence of any ductal variant adenocarcinoma at the time of prostatectomy portends a worse clinical outcome than pure acinar cancers, with significantly shorter times to initiation of salvage therapies and the onset of metastatic disease. These features appear to be driven by uncoupling of chromosomal duplication from cell division, resulting in widespread copy number aberration with specific gain of genes implicated in treatment resistance.

Original publication




Journal article


European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990)

Publication Date





440 - 450


Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia; Urology Unit, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia. Electronic address:


Humans, Adenocarcinoma, Carcinoma, Ductal, Prostatic Neoplasms, Prognosis, Prostatectomy, Survival Rate, Retrospective Studies, Follow-Up Studies, Prospective Studies, Aged, Middle Aged, Male