Incidence of positive pelvic lymph nodes in patients with prostate cancer, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level of < or =10 ng/mL and biopsy Gleason score of < or =6, and their influence on PSA progression-free survival after radical prostatectomy

Dorothea Weckermann, Marcus Goppelt, Robert Dorn, Friedhelm Wawroschek, Rolf Harzmann
BJU International 2006, 97 (6): 1173-8

OBJECTIVE: To investigate how many men with low-risk prostate cancer had positive lymph nodes detected by radio-guided surgery and whether they had a higher biochemical relapse rate after radical prostatectomy, because in such patients most urologists dispense with operative lymph node staging, as nomograms indicate only a low percentage of lymph node metastases.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: The study included 474 men with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level of < or = 10 ng/mL, biopsy Gleason score of < or = 6 and positive biopsies in one (group 1, 315 men) or both lobes (group 2, 159 men); follow-up data were available in 357 men. Men with adjuvant radiation or hormone therapy before the occurrence of biochemical relapse were excluded.

RESULTS: Positive lymph nodes were detected in 17 men in group 1, and in 18 in group 2. In more than half of the patients (19/35) these nodes were found outside the region of standard lymphadenectomy. Men with node-positive disease had a higher biochemical relapse rate (P < 0.001). When the tumour was organ-confined and well differentiated in node-positive disease (Gleason score < or = 6) the biochemical relapse rate was lower than in men with higher tumour stage and grade.

CONCLUSIONS: When dissecting pelvic lymph nodes, extended or sentinel lymphadenectomy should be preferred. Removing the diseased nodes could improve the PSA progression-free survival, especially in well differentiated organ-confined disease.

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