Salvage lymphadenectomy after primary therapy with curative intent for prostate cancer.

To provide a summary of the current literature on salvage lymph node dissection (sLND) in patients with nodal recurrent prostate cancer (PCa) with focus on imaging, the extent of sLND and oncologic outcomes.

The clinical practice guidelines recommend performing PET/CT in patients with biochemical recurrence (BCR) after primary therapy. PSMA PET/CT has demonstrated superiority over choline PET/CT and MRI, especially at low prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. Although the heterogeneity in available literature does not allow standardization of surgical templates for sLND and PET/CT scan can guide the extent of surgical dissection, an anatomically defined extended template is typically considered. Radio-guided surgery (RGS) suggests an improved positive lymph node yield compared with standard sLND. However, long-term data are needed to evaluate the oncologic impact of sLND. The main aims of sLND are to delay recurrence and to postpone the need for systemic therapy. Available evidence suggests that around 40-80% of men can achieve complete biochemical response after sLND and 10-30% remain BCR free after 5 years. Robotic sLND might represent an option to reduce the risk of complications without compromising oncological outcomes; validation in controlled prospective studies is, however, needed.

sLND is a valid treatment option for patients with nodal recurrence only after primary therapy for PCa. Further optimization of patient selection based on highly sensitive and specific imaging and clinical factors remains an unmet need. To maximize the benefit of this approach, sLND should be discussed with patients who harbor lymph node-only recurrence after primary therapy in a shared decision-making.

Current opinion in urology. 2023 May 12 [Epub ahead of print]

Fahad Quhal, Piotr Bryniarski, Juan Gomez Rivas, Giorgio Gandaglia, Shahrokh F Shariat, Pawel Rajwa

Department of Urology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria., Department of Urology, Medical University of Silesia, Zabrze, Poland., Department of Urology, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain., Unit of Oncology/Unit of Urology, Urological Research Institute, IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele, Milan, Italy.