Pelvic/retroperitoneal salvage lymph node dissection for patients treated with radical prostatectomy with biochemical recurrence and nodal recurrence detected by [11C]choline positron emission tomography/computed tomography - Abstract

Department of Urology, Urological Research Institute, University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy.


The management of patients with clinical recurrence of prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy (RP) remains challenging.

To determine whether the removal of positive lymph nodes at [11C]choline positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scan may have an impact on the prognosis of patients with biochemical recurrence (BCR) and nodal recurrence after RP.

Prospective analysis of 72 patients affected by BCR after RP associated with a nodal pathologic [11C]choline PET/CT scan.

Patients underwent salvage lymph node dissection (LND).

Biochemical response (BR) to treatment was defined as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) < 0.2 ng/ml at 40 d after salvage LND. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses addressed time to and predictors of clinical recurrence (CR) after salvage LND, respectively.

Overall, 56.9% of patients achieved BR. Mean and median follow-up after LND were 39.4 and 39.8 mo, respectively. The 5-yr BCR-free survival rate was 19%. Preoperative PSA < 4 ng/ml (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.12; p = 0.005), time to BCR < 24 mo (HR: 7.52; p = 0.005), and negative lymph nodes at previous RP (HR: 0.19; p=0.04) represented independent predictors of BR. Overall, 5-yr CR-free and cancer-specific survival were 34% and 75%, respectively. At multivariable analyses, only PSA >4 ng/ml (HR: 2.13; p=0.03) and the presence of retroperitoneal uptake at PET/CT scan (HR=2.92; p=0.004) represented independent preoperative predictors of CR. Similarly, the presence of pathologic nodes in the retroperitoneum (HR: 2.78; p=0.02), higher number of positive lymph nodes (HR: 1.04; p=0.006), and complete BR to salvage LND (HR: 0.31; p=0.002) represented postoperative independent predictors of CR. Main limitations consisted of the lack of a control group and the heterogeneity of patients included in the analyses.

Salvage LND is feasible in patients with BCR after RP and nodal pathologic uptake at [11C]choline PET/CT scan. Biochemical response after surgery can be achieved in a consistent proportion of patients. Although most patients invariably progressed to BCR after surgery at longer follow-up, 35% of patients showed the absence of CR at 5 yr.

Written by:
Rigatti P, Suardi N, Briganti A, Da Pozzo LF, Tutolo M, Villa L, Gallina A, Capitanio U, Abdollah F, Scattoni V, Colombo R, Freschi M, Picchio M, Messa C, Guazzoni G, Montorsi F.   Are you the author?

Reference: Eur Urol. 2011 Aug 3. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2011.07.060

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21840116 Prostate Cancer Section