INTRODUCTION: The role of pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND) during radical prostatectomy (RP) for prostate cancer (PCa) is controversial.
Despite extensive research in both patterns of lymphatic drainage and the clinical effect of lymph node involvement, the exact role of PLND in PCa is yet to be defined.
METHODS: A systematic search of the MEDLINE database was performed, and all relevant articles were reviewed in depth.
RESULTS: We included 84 relevant articles in our review and subdivided the information into the following categories: preoperative patient evaluation, procedure/extent of dissection, complications, and robotic surgery era. Most authors agree that the greatest benefit is seen in patients with high-risk PCa undergoing RP. Multiple imaging modalities have been evaluated for assistance in patient selection, but the use of preoperative nomograms appears to be the most helpful selection tool. The role of limited PLND vs. extended PLND (e-PLND) is yet to be defined, though many authors agree that e-PLND is preferred in the setting of high-risk PCa. Although PLND is associated with a higher incidence of complications, especially lymphocele formation, it is unclear whether e-PLND leads to more complications than limited PLND. The introduction of minimally invasive surgery may have had a negative effect on implementation of PLND in the appropriate patients undergoing RP.
CONCLUSION: Despite a lack of prospective, randomized trials evaluating PLND in RP, there does appear to be a consistent benefit in patients with high-risk disease.
Harbin AC, Eun DD. Are you the author?
Department of Urology, Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA.
Reference: Urol Oncol. 2014 Dec 26. pii: S1078-1439(14)00400-1.