Treatment Trends and Outcomes for Patients with Lymph Node–Positive Cancer of the Penis - Beyond the Abstract

Penile cancer is rare malignancy, so quality data on treatment outcomes is difficult to obtain. In our study we were able to harness the large patient volumes contained in the National Cancer Database (NCDB) to report on national treatment and outcome trends for men with LN+ penile cancer. 1,123 patients were identified, which is quite large for this rare malignancy. We found that the use of systemic chemotherapy has increased over the past decade, but still remained below 50% by the end of 2014. Importantly, after adjusting for other factors, receiving a lymph node dissection conveyed a very significant improvement in survival. 

Of course, this data is retrospective and is subject to confounding and selection bias. Nonetheless, it is the most accurate information we have to date about the outcomes of patients treated with this disease. The ongoing prospective InPACT trial to study different treatments for advanced penile cancer will profoundly affect the future management of LN+ penile cancer. Our study can be used as a benchmark as treatment strategies mature following the InPACT trial.

Written by: Shreyas S. Joshi, MD Division of Urologic Oncology, Department of Surgical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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