Family history is one of the strongest epidemiological risk factors for the development of prostate cancer. The impact on the clinical presentation and prognosis, however, is controversial. In the present study, we analyzed 464 familial and 492 sporadic prostate cancer patients following radical prostatectomy. The average age at onset was 62.1 years in the familial group and 64.2 years in the sporadic controls (p<0.001). The screening attitude, DRE findings and the PSA values at diagnosis the pT- and pN-stages, and the tumor grade did not differ between both groups. With a median follow-up of 3.3 years, the 5- and 10-year progression-free survival rates were 76.2% and 56.5% in familial and 70.8% and 55.5% in sporadic patients, respectively (n.s.). A multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that family history did not have an influence on disease recurrence. In our population there was no association between a familial predisposition and clinical features or clinical course of the disease. Whether hereditary prostate cancer is distinct from sporadic forms cannot be determined before the underlying genetic alterations are identified.