Long-term outcomes of salvage lymph node dissection for clinically recurrent prostate cancer: Results of a single-institution series with a minimum follow-up of 5 years

Nazareno Suardi, Giorgio Gandaglia, Andrea Gallina, Ettore Di Trapani, Vincenzo Scattoni, Damiano Vizziello, Vito Cucchiara, Roberto Bertini, Renzo Colombo, Maria Picchio, Giampiero Giovacchini, Francesco Montorsi, Alberto Briganti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Prostate cancer (PCa) patients with lymph node recurrence after radical prostatectomy (RP) are usually managed with androgen-deprivation therapy. Despite the absence of prospective randomized studies, salvage lymph node dissection (LND) has been proposed as an alternative treatment option. Objective To examine long-term outcomes of salvage LND in patients with nodal recurrent PCa documented by 11C-choline positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scan. Design, setting, and participants Overall, 59 patients affected by biochemical recurrence (BCR) with 11C-choline PET/CT scan with pathologic activity treated between 2002 and 2008 were included. Intervention Pelvic and/or retroperitoneal salvage LND. Outcome measurements and statistical analyses Biochemical response (BR) was defined as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) 0.2 ng/ml. Clinical recurrence (CR) was defined as a positive PET/CT scan after salvage LND in the presence of a rising PSA. Kaplan-Meier curves assessed time to BCR, CR, and cancer-specific mortality (CSM). Cox regression analyses were fitted to assess predictors of CR. Results and limitations Median follow-up after salvage LND was 81.1 mo. Overall, 35 patients (59.3%) achieved BR. The 8-yr BCR-free survival rate in patients with complete BR was 23%. Overall, the 8-yr CR- and CSM-free survival rates were 38% and 81%, respectively. In multivariable analyses evaluating preoperative variables, PSA at salvage LND represented the only predictor of CR (p = 0.03). When postoperative variables were considered, BR and the presence of retroperitoneal lymph node metastases were significantly associated with the risk of CR (all p ≤ 0.04). Our study is limited by the lack of a control group. Conclusions Salvage LND may represent a therapeutic option for patients with BCR after RP and nodal pathologic uptake at 11C-choline PET/CT scan. Although most patients progressed to BCR after salvage LND, roughly 40% of them experienced CR-free survival. Patient summary Salvage lymph node dissection may represent a therapeutic option for selected patients with nodal recurrence after radical prostatectomy. Roughly 40% of men did not show any further clinical recurrence at long-term follow-up after surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-309
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Cancer-specific mortality
  • Clinical recurrence
  • Lymph node metastases
  • Prostate cancer
  • Salvage lymph node dissection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Medicine(all)


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