Robotic Postchemotherapy Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection for Testicular Cancer.

Postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (pcRPLND) is mandated in patients with nonseminomatous germ cell tumor found to have residual masses after chemotherapy. Performed via the open approach, pcRPLND can incur significant perioperative morbidity.

To demonstrate the feasibility of robotic pcRPLND (r-pcRPLND) and provide evidence for its selection criteria.

A retrospective search identified 93 patients undergoing pcRPLND between April 2007 and March 2018, comprising 30 r-pcRPLND and 63 open pcRPLND (o-pcRPLND) procedures performed by a single surgeon.

r-pcRPLND and o-pcRPLND.

Baseline clinicopathologic characteristics and intraoperative variables including operating room (OR) time, estimated blood loss (EBL), resection of adjacent organs, and intraoperative consultation with other surgical services were recorded. Hospital length of stay (LOS) and perioperative complications were assessed as per the Clavien-Dindo classification, and oncologic outcomes such as nodal yield, histologic distribution, pathologic staging, time to recurrence, and cancer-specific survival were compared.

r-pcRPLND was performed in a well-selected cohort with lower clinical stage (p=0.006), favorable International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group classification (p=0.01), and smaller retroperitoneal mass (p=0.001). o-pcRPLND required more frequent bilateral template dissection (88.9% vs 43.3%; p<0.001), resection of adjacent organs (36.5% vs 10%; p=0.007), consultation with other surgical services (46% vs 2%; p<0.001), and auxiliary procedures (54.0% vs 20%; p=0.003) to achieve complete oncologic control. OR time was similar between the two groups (o-pcRPLND 375min vs r-pcRPLND 388min; p=0.16) and EBL was significantly lower in r-pcRPLND (234 vs 825ml; p<0.001). Median LOS was significantly shorter after r-pcRPLND (2 vs 7d; p<0.001). A total of 31 patients (33%) suffered postoperative complications, of whom 18 (19.4%) had major complications. Nodal yield was similar (o-pcRPLND 23 vs r-pcRPLND 24; p=0.8). The distribution of lesion histology (necrosis/teratoma/GCT) was also similar pcRPLND (o-pcRPLND 25.4%/57.1%/17.4% vs r-pcPLND 33.3%/50%/16.7%; p=0.51). Overall, tumor recurred in 15 patients (16.1%), including three following r-pcRPLND (10%), all outside the operative field. On univariate analysis, surgical approach was not a significant predictor of time to recurrence (p=0.34). One limitation was that antegrade ejaculation was not assessed.

With rigorous patient selection, r-pcRPLND can be safely performed and may reduce perioperative morbidity while maintaining oncologic proficiency.

Resection of residual retroperitoneal mass after chemotherapy in patients with metastatic testicular cancer can be performed safely via a robotic approach. Robotic surgery can reduce the morbidity of the procedure.

European urology oncology. 2019 Mar 29 [Epub ahead of print]

Roger Li, Jonathan J Duplisea, Firas G Petros, Graciela M Nogueras González, Shi-Ming Tu, Jose A Karam, Tam T Huynh, John F Ward

Department of Urology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA., Department of Biostatistics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA., Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA., Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA., Department of Urology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA. Electronic address: .

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