BACKGROUND: Despite intensive research over the last several decades on prostate cancer, many questions particularly those concerning early diagnosis and the choice of optimal treatment for each individual patient, still remain unanswered. The goal of treating patients with localized prostate cancer is a curative one and includes minimizing adverse effects to preserve an adequate quality of life. Better understanding on how the quality of life is affected depending on the treatment modality would assist patients in deciding which treatment to choose; furthermore, the development of prognostic biomarkers that indicate the future course of the illness is a promising approach with potential and the focus of much attention. These questions can be addressed in the context of a cohort study. METHODS/DESIGN: This is a prospective, multi-center cohort study within the canton of Zurich, Switzerland. We will include patients with newly diagnosed localized prostate cancer independently of treatment finally chosen. We will acquire clinical data including quality of life and lifestyle, prostate tissue specimen as well as further biological samples (blood and urine) before, during and after treatment for setup of a bio-bank. Assessment of these data and samples in the follow up will be done during routine controls. Study duration will be at least ten years. Influence of treatment on morbidity and mortality, including changes in quality of life, will be identified and an evaluation of biomarkers will be performed. Further we intend to set up a bio-bank containing blood and urine samples providing research of various natures around prostate cancer in the future. DISCUSSION: We presume that this study will provide answers to pertinent questions concerning prognosis and outcomes of men with localised prostate cancer.