Salvage lymphadenectomy in recurrent prostate cancer: is there evidence of real benefit?

Nodal recurrent prostate cancer (PCa) after primary radical treatment represents a heterogeneous entity with many treatment options. In some cases, surgical removal of metastatic nodes seems to improve cancer control and delay systemic treatments. The objectives of this study were to analyze the available literature on salvage lymphadenectomy for the treatment of nodal recurrent PCa and to elucidate the real oncological benefit deriving from this procedure.

A PubMed search was performed using the following terms: prostate cancer, metastatic, oligometastatic, salvage lymphadenectomy, salvage lymph node dissection, salvage lymph node excision, and cytoreductive surgery. We included in the study all papers on salvage lymphadenectomy in nodal recurrent PCa, with no temporal limits. In addition, several papers addressing cytoreductive surgery and the biology of oligometastatic disease, published in different medical and basic research journals, were included.

Salvage lymphadenectomy is still characterized by a lack of standardization in patient selection and surgical template. Its primary objectives are to prolong progression-free survival and to delay the need for systemic therapy. The improvements in preoperative imaging techniques in conjunction with the wide use of minimally invasive surgery have generated growing interest in this procedure.

Salvage lymphadenectomy is a promising treatment approach; however, its real oncological benefit is still far from proven. Prospective randomized trials need to be designed to improve understanding of this issue.

World journal of urology. 2019 Jun 18 [Epub]

F Pisano, J M Gaya, A Breda, J Palou

Department of Uro-Oncology, Fundació Puigvert, University of Barcelona, Carrer de Cartagena 340-350, 08003, Barcelona, Spain. ., Department of Uro-Oncology, Fundació Puigvert, University of Barcelona, Carrer de Cartagena 340-350, 08003, Barcelona, Spain.