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Validation study on the 2 mm diameter cutoff in lymph node-positive cases following radical prostatectomy in accordance with the AJCC/UICC TNM 8th edition: Real-world data analysis from a Japanese cohort.

OBJECTIVES: The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC)/Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) 8th edition has proposed micrometastasis as a lymph node metastasis (LN+) of diameter ≤2 mm in prostate cancer. However, supporting evidence has not described. We evaluated LN+ patients' survival after radical prostatectomy (RP) based on the LN maximum tumor diameter (MTD).

METHODS: Data from 561 LN+ patients after RP and pelvic LN dissection (PLND) treated between 2006 and 2019 at 33 institutions were retrospectively investigated. Patients were stratified by a LN+ MTD cutoff of 2 mm. Outcomes included castration resistance-free survival (CRFS), metastasis-free survival (MFS), cancer-specific survival (CSS), and overall survival (OS).

RESULTS: In total, 282 patients were divided into two groups (LN+ MTD >2 mm [n = 206] and ≤2 mm [n = 76]). Patients of LN+ status >2 mm exhibited significantly decreased CRFS and MFS, and poorer CSS and OS. No patients developed CRPC in the LN+ status ≤2 mm group when the PLND number was ≥14. Multivariate analysis showed the number of LN removed, RP Gleason pattern 5, and MTD in LN+ significantly predicted CRFS.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients of LN+ status ≤2 mm showed better prognoses after RP. In all the patients in the ≤2-mm group, the progression to CRPC could be prevented with appropriate interventions, particularly when PLND is performed accurately. Our findings support the utility of the pN substaging proposed by the AJCC/UICC 8th edition; this will facilitate precision medicine for patients with advanced prostate cancer.

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