Disease progression and survival in patients with prostate carcinoma and positive lymph nodes after radical retropubic prostatectomy

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To determine disease progression and survival in patients with lymph node-positive prostate carcinoma after ascending radical retropubic prostatectomy (RP) and pelvic lymphadenectomy with different forms of postoperative adjuvant treatment.


We analysed 82 patients with lymph node metastases at the time of surgery and who had a RP between 1993 and 2002. Data from clinical records and follow-up questionnaires were used. Overall survival, time to clinical disease progression and time to biochemical progression were used as endpoints to assess the outcome. Clinical progression was defined as documented local recurrence or distant metastases, and biochemical as an increase in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) of ≥ 0.4 ng/mL. Variables analysed included PSA level, Gleason score before and after RP, clinical and pathological stage, number of positive lymph nodes and hormone therapy after RP. The statistical assessment included univariate regression analysis, and to analyse the distribution of clinical findings in different groups, Mantel–Haenszel statistics were used to test for differences in the numbers of patients. Survival and progression-free interval were assessed by Kaplan–Meier estimates and differences between groups calculated by log-rank statistics and Cox regression models.


The median (range) follow-up was 55 (10–125) months. Adjuvant hormonal treatment was used in 77 patients, five of whom had immediate adjuvant radiotherapy, and nine delayed radiotherapy because of local progression or symptomatic bone metastases; five had no additional treatment. The rates for 5- and 10-year overall survival, clinical progression-free survival and biochemical progression-free survival were 84% and 79%, 83% and 77%, and 70% and 60%, respectively. Ten patients died (12%), eight (10%) of them from the cancer; bone metastases were detected in nine (11%). Local recurrences developed in three (4%) patients, 10 (12%) had a PSA increase of ≥ 0.4 ng/mL alone and 58 (71%) had no signs of progression, but two died from other causes.


Most patients with prostate cancer who had RP and pelvic lymphadenectomy followed by adjuvant hormone therapy, and who had lymph node metastases at the time of surgery, had excellent overall and progression-free survival in the long term.

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