Salvage Lymph Node Dissection for Nodal Recurrent Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review

Guillaume Ploussard, Giorgio Gandaglia, Hendrik Borgmann, Pieter de Visschere, Isabel Heidegger, Alexander Kretschmer, Romain Mathieu, Cristian Surcel, Derya Tilki, Igor Tsaur, Massimo Valerio, Roderick van den Bergh, Piet Ost, Alberto Briganti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Context: Identification of early nodal recurrence after primary prostate cancer (PCa) treatment by functional imaging may guide metastasis-directed therapy such as salvage lymph node dissection (SLND). Objective: The aim of this systematic review was to assess the oncological role and the safety of SLND in the era of modern imaging in case of exclusive nodal recurrence after primary PCa treatment with curative intent. Evidence acquisition: A systematic literature search in the PubMed and Cochrane databases was performed up to August 2018 according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis guidelines. Overall, 27 SLND series have been selected for synthesis. Evidence synthesis: Prostate-specific membrane antigen or choline positron emission tomography/computed tomography was the reference detection technique. SLND was performed by open or laparoscopic approach with <10% of grade 3 or more complication rate. Mean follow-up was 29.4 mo. Complete biochemical response after SLND was achieved in 13–79.5%of cases (mean 44.3%). The 2- and 5-yr biochemical progression-free survival rates ranged from 23% to 64% and from 6% to 31%, respectively. Fiver-year overall survival was approximately 84%. Main drawbacks limiting the interpretation of the effectiveness of SLND were the retrospective design of single-center series, heterogeneity between series in terms of adjuvant treatment, endpoints, definitions of progression and study population, as well as the absence of long-term follow-up. Conclusions: A growing body of accumulated data suggests that SLND is a safe metastasis-directed therapy option in nodal recurrence after primary treatment. However, to date, high level of evidence is still missing to draw any clinically meaningful conclusion about the oncological impact of SLND on long-term endpoints. Patient summary: When imaging identifies exclusive nodal recurrent prostate cancer, surgery directed to the positive lesions is safe and can offer at least a temporary biochemical response. The oncological role assessed by strong clinical endpoints remains uncertain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-504
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Lymph node dissection
  • Nodal recurrence
  • Prostate cancer
  • Recurrence
  • Salvage treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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