Contemporary role of salvage lymphadenectomy in patients with recurrence following radical prostatectomy

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European urology


CONTEXT: Prostate cancer (PCa) patients with isolated clinical lymph node (LN) relapse, limited to the regional and/or retroperitoneal LNs, may represent a distinct group of patients who have a more favorable outcome than men with progression to the bone or to other visceral organs. Some data indirectly denote a beneficial impact of pelvic LN dissection on survival in these patients.

OBJECTIVE: To provide an overview of the currently available literature regarding salvage LN dissection (SLND) in PCa patients with clinical relapse limited to LNs after radical prostatectomy (RP).

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A systematic literature search was conducted using the Medline, Embase, and Web of Science databases to identify original articles, review articles, and editorials regarding SLND. Articles published between 2000 and 2012 were reviewed and selected with the consensus of all the authors.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Contemporary imaging techniques, such as 11C-choline positron emission tomography and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, appear to enhance the accuracy in identifying LN relapse in patients with biochemical recurrence (BCR) and after RP. In these individuals, SLND can be considered as a treatment option. The currently available data suggest that SLND can delay clinical progression and postpone hormonal therapy in almost one-third of the patients, although the majority will have BCR. An accurate and attentive preoperative patient selection may help improve these outcomes. The most frequent complication after SLND was lymphorrhea (15.3%), followed by fever (14.5%) and ileus (11.2%). It is noteworthy that all examined cohorts originated from retrospective single-institution series, with limited sample size and short follow-up. Consequently, the current findings cannot be generalized and warrant further investigation in future prospective trials.

CONCLUSIONS: The current data suggest that SLND represents an option in patients with disease relapse limited to the LNs after RP; however, more robust data derived from well-designed clinical trials are needed to validate the role of SLND in this selected patient population.

PATIENT SUMMARY: Salvage lymph node dissection (SLND) represents a treatment option in for patients with prostate cancer relapse limited to the lymph nodes; however, more robust data derived from well-designed clinical trials are needed to validate the role of SLND in this selected patient population.

Medical Subject Headings

Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Humans; Lymph Node Excision; Lymph Nodes; Lymphatic Metastasis; Male; Neoplasm Recurrence, Local; Positron-Emission Tomography; Prostate; Prostatectomy; Prostatic Neoplasms; Salvage Therapy

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