Temporal Trends and Predictors of Pelvic Lymph Node Dissection in Open or Minimally Invasive Radical Prostatectomy
Pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND) is an important component of prostate cancer staging and treatment, especially for surgical patients who have high-risk tumor features. It is not clear how the shift from open radical prostatectomy (ORP) to minimally invasive radical prostatectomy (MIRP) has affected the use of PLND. The objectives of this study were to identify predictors of PLND and to assess the impact of surgical technique in a contemporary, population-based cohort. In Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) cancer registry data linked with Medicare claims, the authors identified men who underwent ORP or MIRP for prostate cancer during 2003 to 2007. The impact of surgical approach on PLND was evaluated, and interactions were examined between surgical procedure, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), and Gleason score with the analysis controlled for patient and tumor characteristics. Of 6608 men who underwent ORP or MIRP, 70% (n = 4600) underwent PLND. The use of PLND declined over time both overall and within subgroups defined by procedure type. PLND was 5 times more likely in men who underwent ORP than in men who underwent MIRP when the analysis was controlled for patient and tumor characteristics. Elevated PSA and biopsy Gleason score, but not clinical stage, were associated with a greater odds of PLND in both the ORP group and the MIRP group. However, the magnitude of the association between these factors and PLND was significantly greater for patients in the ORP group. PLND was less common among men who underwent MIRP, independent of tumor risk factors. A decline in PLND rates was not fully explained by an increase in MIRP. The authors concluded that these trends may signal a surgical approach-dependent disparity in prostate cancer staging and therapy.