Effect of a minimum lymph node policy in radical cystectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy on lymph node yields, lymph node positivity rates, lymph node density, and survivorship in patients with bladder cancer.
ABSTRACT Extended pelvic lymphadenectomy (PLND) during radical cystectomy (RC) reportedly improves bladder cancer-specific survival. Lymph node counts are often a proxy for the extensiveness of a dissection. In the current study, the impact of an institutional policy requiring a minimum number of lymph nodes was assessed.
Patients undergoing RC and PLND for invasive bladder cancer between March 2000 and February 2008 were retrospectively reviewed at the study institution. Beginning March 1, 2004, a policy was established that at least 16 lymph nodes had to be examined. Specimens with <16 lymph nodes were resubmitted (including any fat) to detect additional lymph nodes. Lymph node yields, lymph node positivity, lymph node density (LND), and survivorship before and after policy implementation were compared.
A total of 147 patients underwent surgery 4 years before policy implementation and 202 underwent surgery 4 years after. The median number of lymph nodes increased from 15 to 20. Percentage of cases with >or=16 lymph nodes increased from 42.9% to 69.3% (P <.01). The lymph node positivity rates did not change significantly, but the proportion of patients with LND <20% increased from 43.9% to 65.5% (P = .04). Overall survival increased from 41.5% to 72.3% (P <.01). Univariate and multivariate regression demonstrated that policy implementation, and subsequent increase in median lymph node yield, decreased mortality risk by 30% (hazards ratio [HR], 0.70; P = .04) and 48% (HR, 0.52; P = .01), respectively.
Thorough evaluation of PLND specimens obtained at RC can be influenced by an institutional policy mandating a minimum number of lymph nodes. This could lead to greater confidence in pathologic staging and reliability of LND as a predictor of prognosis. Survival can improve due to increased awareness to perform a more thorough PLND.
Article: Differences in histopathological evaluation of standard lymph node dissections result in differences in nodal count but not in survival.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To analyse whether the reported differences in nodal yield at pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND) for bladder cancer, between two hospitals, are reflected in the survival rates. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We assessed follow-up data of all 174 patients (mean age: 62.7, median follow-up: 3 years) who underwent PLND between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2009 at two different hospitals. PLND was performed according to a standardized template by the same urologists for comparable bladder cancer patients. Mean number of reported lymph nodes was 16 at hospital A versus 28 at hospital B. We compared the overall survival (OS), disease-specific survival (DSS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) between both cohorts and performed a multivariate analysis. RESULTS: The cumulative probability for 2-year OS, DSS and RFS for hospital A are 61, 64 and 54 %, versus 58, 58 and 53 % for hospital B, respectively. Kaplan-Meier survival curves did not reveal statistically significant differences between both groups (OS: p log-rank = 0.75, DSS: p log-rank = 0.56, and RFS: p log-rank = 0.80). Also after adjustment for pT stage and neoadjuvant chemotherapy, survival was not significantly different between hospital A and hospital B. CONCLUSION: Despite differences in lymph node yield in PLND specimens, this study reveals no significant differences in survival outcomes between both hospitals. Standardized histopathological methods should be agreed upon by pathologists before integrating nodal yield and subsequent lymph node density as indicators of the quality of surgery and as prognostic factors.World Journal of Urology 08/2012; · 2.41 Impact Factor