The Outcome of Post-Chemotherapy Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection in Patients with Metastatic Bladder Cancer in the Retroperitoneum.

While a definitive cure can be achieved by radical cystectomy and pelvic lymph node dissection in select patients with regional lymphadenopathy, the benefit remains uncertain in patients who present with non-regional metastases. We analyzed the survival outcomes of post-chemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection.

We reviewed our institutional database and identified 13 patients with radiographically evident or biopsy proven retroperitoneal nodal metastases with a significant response to chemotherapy. These patients underwent consolidative surgery with concomitant or delayed retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. The primary endpoints were progression-free survival and disease-specific survival from the time of retroperitoneal lymph node dissection.

All patients had primary urothelial cell carcinoma. Twelve patients underwent concomitant radical cystectomy, pelvic and retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. Seven patients (54%) had residual disease in the retroperitoneum and the median number of retroperitoneal nodes containing metastases was 4 (IQR 2-6). Six (86%) developed disease recurrences within 2 years of surgery and 5 (71%) died of cancer. Of the 6 patients without residual disease in the retroperitoneum, 2 (33%) developed recurrences and died of disease progression. The 2-year disease-specific survival was worse for patients with residual disease in the retroperitoneum than those without residual retroperitoneal disease (34%, 95% CI 5-68 vs 50%, 95% CI 6-85).

The presence of retroperitoneal nodal metastases at post-chemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection is a poor prognosticator. Consolidative surgery with retroperitoneal lymph node dissection provides important prognostic information and may be therapeutic in a very small subset of these patients.

Bladder cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands). 2019 Jan 31*** epublish ***

Nick W Liu, Katie S Murray, S Machele Donat, Harry W Herr, Bernard H Bochner, Guido Dalbagni

Department of Urology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA., Department of Surgery, Urology Division, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO, USA., Department of Surgery, Urology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.