Current practice patterns of society of urologic oncology members in performing inguinal lymph node staging/therapy for penile cancer: A survey study.

Inguinal lymph node (ILN) staging and therapeutic procedures are important for the diagnosis and management of suspected Inguinal lymph node metastasis in the setting of penile cancer. Morbidity associated with inguinal lymph node dissection (ILND) and the lack of standardization in its perioperative management are both significant. In this study, we aimed to define current management approaches and potential opportunities for improving outcomes.

A questionnaire was developed with 16 questions regarding pre, peri, and postoperative management of patients undergoing ILND. The questionnaire was approved by the Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO) Questionnaire Committee, which facilitated its dissemination through an initial email and a follow-up reminder to 1,003 members. The study was conducted from July to August, 2020.

Of the 1,003 SUO members invited to participate, 93 responded (9.3% response rate); 49% performed 1 to 2 ILNDs annually, and 60% chose open ILND for high-risk primary cancer cN0. For suspicious lymph nodes > 2 cm, 69% preferred ILND, 86% preoperative systemic neoadjuvant chemotherapy, followed by surgery for bulky inguinal metastasis, and 84% used perioperative antibiotics (ABX), 53% of whom discontinued ABX 24 hours after surgery. Prophylactic anticoagulation was used by 78% of respondents, and 60% stopped it after ambulation. Specific ligation of lymphatics (versus none) was used by 82% of respondents, 55% obtained frozen sections, and 94% used inguinal drains. A saphenous sparing technique was used by 75% of respondents. An incisional wound vacuum device was used by 17% of respondents. Compression stockings and/or referral to a lymphedema specialist were used to manage postoperative lymphedema by 61% of respondents.

Responses to a penile lymphadenectomy survey were relatively low and were primarily from the academic surgeon subset of the SUO. Significant consensus ( ≥ 70%) was noted for neoadjuvant chemotherapy for bulky nodal metastasis prior to surgery, perioperative antibiotic use, ligation of lymphatics, drain placement, and saphenous sparing dissection techniques. Other evidenced-based strategies that could decrease morbidity were rarely used, including dynamic sentinel node biopsy, incisional wound vacuums, and lymphedema prevention. Prospective trials are needed to validate and resolve existing treatment paradigms and to optimize perioperative pathways to reduce complications in penile cancer management.

Urologic oncology. 2021 Mar 25 [Epub ahead of print]

Nicholson Marilin, Viraj A Master, Curtis A Pettaway, Philippe E Spiess

Department of Urology, University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Tampa, FL. Electronic address: ., Department of Urology, and Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA., Department of Urology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX., Department of Genitourinary Oncology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL.