Pelvic lymph node dissection in prostate cancer staging: evaluation of morbidity and oncological outcomes

To evaluate the morbidity of different surgical approaches for pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND), to evaluate the influence of morbidity on radiotherapy (RT) planning and to evaluate a possible therapeutic effect of a more extensive yield of PLND.

From 2000-2016, 228 patients received staging PLND before primary RT in a single tertiary care center. Nine patients were excluded for the evaluation of morbidity. Fifty patients were operated in an open approach, 96 laparoscopic and 73 robot-assisted (RA). Clavien-Dindo classification was used for evaluating complications. Predictors of biochemical recurrence (BCR), clinical relapse (CR), cancer-specific survival (CSS) and overall survival (OS) were evaluated by regression analyses to determine a possible therapeutic effect.

Minimal invasive surgery (laparoscopic or RA) caused five times less major complications (22% vs. 4.3%, p = .001) and a median 3 days shorter hospital stay (5 days versus 2 days, p < .001). Major complications resulted in a delayed (23 days, p < .001) RT start but no oncological effect was seen. Independent oncological predictors were the number of positive nodes (BCR, CR, CSS, OS), a lower age (CR), a higher level of initial prostate-specific antigen (PSA) (BCR) and post-RT PSA (BCR).

Minimal invasive surgery can diminish major complications which delay RT start. Nodal staging proved to be of importance for prognosis but no therapeutic effect was seen of performing PLND as such.

Acta chirurgica Belgica. 2018 May 08 [Epub ahead of print]

Andries Van Huele, Filip Poelaert, Valérie Fonteyne, Karel Decaestecker, Piet Ost, Nicolaas Lumen

a Department of Urology , Ghent University Hospital , Ghent , Belgium., b Department of Radiation Oncology , Ghent University Hospital , Ghent , Belgium.