Background: We report the 30-year institutional experience of radical prostatectomy (RP) for men with clinically localized prostate cancer (PC) found to have lymph node (LN) metastases at surgery.
Methods: The Johns Hopkins RP Database (1982-2011) was queried for 505 (2.5%) men with node-positive (N1) PC. Survival analysis was completed using the Kaplan-Meier method and proportional hazard regression models.
Results: The proportion of men with N1PC was 8.3%, 3.5%, and 1.4% in the pre- (1982-1990), early- (1991-2000), and contemporary-PSA eras (2001-2011), respectively. A trend toward decreasing PSA, less palpable disease but more advanced Gleason sum was noted in the most contemporary era. Median total and positive nodes were 13.2 (1-41) and 1.7 (1-12), respectively. Of 135 patients with a unilateral tumor, 80 (59.3%), 28 (20.7%), and 15 (11.1%) had ipsilateral, contralateral, and bilateral positive LN. 15-year biochemical-recurrence free, metastases-free and cancer-specific survival was 7.1%, 41.5%, and 57.5%, respectively. Predictors of biochemical-recurrence, metastases and death from PC in multivariate analysis included Gleason sum at RP, the number and percent of positive LN; notably total number of LN dissected did not predict outcome.
Conclusions: In this highly-selected RP cohort, men found to have N1PC disease at RP can experience a durable long-term metastases-free and cancer-specific survival. Predictors of survival include Gleason sum, number, and percentage of positive LN. While total number of LN dissected was not predictive, approximately 30% of men with N1PC will have positive LN contralateral to the primary prostatic lesion highlighting the importance of a thorough, bilateral pelvic LN dissection.
Keywords: lymph node metastases; prostate cancer; radical prostatectomy.
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.