Safety and Early Oncologic Effectiveness of Primary Robotic Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection for Nonseminomatous Germ Cell Testicular Cancer

Primary robot-assisted retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (R-RPLND) has been studied as an alternative to open RPLND in single-institution series for patients with low-stage nonseminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCT).

To evaluate a multicenter series of primary R-RPLND for low-stage NSGCT.

Between 2011 and 2015, 47 patients underwent primary R-RPLND at four centers for Clinical Stage (CS) I-IIA NSGCT.

R-RPLND was performed using the da Vinci surgical system (Intuitive Surgical Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, USA).

Data were collected regarding patient demographics, primary tumor characteristics, pathologic findings, and clinical outcomes.

Forty-two patients (89%) were CS I and five (11%) were CS IIA. The median operative time was 235min (interquartile range [IQR]: 214-258min), estimated blood loss was 50ml (IQR: 50-100ml), node count was 26 (IQR: 18-32), and length of stay was 1 d. There were two intraoperative complications (4%), four early postoperative complications (9%), no late complications, and the rate of antegrade ejaculation was 100%. Of the eight patients (17%) with positive nodes (seven pN1and one pN2), five (62%) received adjuvant chemotherapy. The one recurrence was out of template in the pelvis after adjuvant chemotherapy (resected teratoma). The median follow-up was 16 mo and the 2-yr recurrence-free survival rate was 97% (95% confidence interval: 82-100%). Limitations include retrospective design and limited follow-up.

Our multicenter experience supports R-RPLND as a potential option at experienced centers in select patients with low-stage NSGCT. Informal comparison to open and laparoscopic series suggests R-RPLND has an acceptably low morbidity profile, but oncologic efficacy evaluation requires further evaluation.

We examined outcomes after robot-assisted retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for patients with low-stage nonseminomatous testicular cancer with our data suggesting the robotic approach has acceptable morbidity and early oncologic outcomes.

European urology. 2016 May 24 [Epub ahead of print]

Shane M Pearce, Shay Golan, Michael A Gorin, Amy N Luckenbaugh, Stephen B Williams, John F Ward, Jeffrey S Montgomery, Khaled S Hafez, Alon Z Weizer, Phillip M Pierorazio, Mohamad E Allaf, Scott E Eggener

Section of Urology, Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. Electronic address: ., Section of Urology, Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA., Department of Urology, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA., Department of Urology, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI, USA., Department of Urology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA., Department of Urology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA., Department of Urology, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI, USA., Department of Urology, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI, USA., Department of Urology, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI, USA., Department of Urology, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA., Department of Urology, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA., Section of Urology, Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

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