Therapeutic Consequences of Omitting a Pelvic Lymph Node Dissection at Radical Prostatectomy when Grade and/or Stage Increase



      To analyze the effect on biochemical recurrence (BCR) of omitting PLND in subsequently upgraded/upstaged patients (pNx regret). Using nomograms, patients with low to intermediate-risk prostate cancer can be selected to omit a pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND) at the time of a radical prostatectomy (RP). However, some patients will experience upgraded pathology and/or stage.

      Materials and Methods

      We searched a prospectively maintained single institution/multi-surgeon cohort of patients treated by RP and >5-year follow-up. From 2006-2012, 1026 (521 pNx and 505 pN0/1) eligible patients with biopsy Gleason Score ≤3+4 and cT1c-cT2 undergoing RARP were included in the study.


      Gleason upgrading from ≤3+4 to >3+4 and/or pT3-4 occurred in 17% of pNx and 32% of pN0/N1 (p<0.001). BCR occurred in 5% of the pNx, and 7% of the PLND group. Five-year BCR free survival was higher in the pNx group (94.7% vs. 91%, P = .048). BCR occurred in 3% in the non-pNx regret and 18% in the pNx regret patients. However, with propensity score matching with pNx regret and pN0/N1 patients, 5-year BCR free survival rates were similar (81% vs 77%, P = .466).


      Low to favorable intermediate-risk patients who PLND was omitted and experienced upgrading or upstaging (pNx regret), have a higher predicted BCR. However, when matched to a similar cohort with pN0/N1, the BCR did not differ. Omission of a PLND does not appear to alter the rates of BCR compared to PLND inclusion.
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