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Utilization and impact of surgical technique on the performance of pelvic lymph node dissection at radical prostatectomy: Results from the Shared Equal Access Regional Cancer Hospital database.

  • Author(s): McGinley, Kathleen F;
  • Sun, Xizi;
  • Howard, Lauren E;
  • Aronson, William J;
  • Terris, Martha K;
  • Kane, Christopher J;
  • Amling, Christopher L;
  • Cooperberg, Matthew R;
  • Freedland, Stephen J
  • et al.


To evaluate performance of pelvic lymph node dissection during radical prostatectomy within an equal access care setting over a period of time, and stratified by prostate cancer risk group and surgical technique.


We identified men in the Shared Equal Access Regional Cancer Hospital database who had open or robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy from 2006 to 2013. Univariable logistic regression was used to test the association between age, race, body mass index, total biopsy cores, number of positive biopsy cores, risk group, year, center, surgical volume and surgical technique on pelvic lymph node dissection use. Multivariable logistic analysis was used to examine surgical technique and pelvic lymph node dissection performance. Spearman's correlation examined temporal changes in pelvic lymph node dissection utilization stratified by risk group and surgical technique.


A total of 1425 men met inclusion criteria; 67% of them underwent pelvic lymph node dissection. On multivariable analysis, robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy was associated with an 92% decreased use of pelvic lymph node dissection in low-risk, 84% decreased in intermediate-risk and 91% decreased in high-risk men (all P < 0.001). In robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy, there was a trend for increased pelvic lymph node dissection utilization over time in high-risk men (Spearman; P = 0.077) reaching ~85% in 2012-2013, which was accompanied by increased use in low-risk men (P = 0.016). For open radical prostatectomy, fewer pelvic lymph node dissections were carried out in low-risk men over time, decreasing to ~35% (P = 0.047) in 2012-2013, whereas rates remained high for high-risk men throughout (~95%; P = 0.621).


Regardless of risk group, pelvic lymph node dissection is carried out significantly less during robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy. For robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy, pelvic lymph node dissection utilization increased over time for high-risk men, but rates also increased for low-risk men. Further attention to the discrepancy between provided and guideline recommended pelvic lymph node dissection performance is required to improve prostate cancer care.

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