Extranodal extension in node-positive bladder cancer: the continuing controversy

Authors


Choung-Soo Kim, Department of Urology, Asan Medical Centre, 388-1 Pungnap 2 dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul 138-736, Korea. e-mail: cskim@amc.seoul.kr

Abstract

Study Type – Therapy (case series)
Level of Evidence 4

What’s known on the subject? and What does the study add?

Although extranodal extension in node-positive patients may provide prognostic information in certain urological malignancies, contradictory results have been reported in node-positive patients after radical cystectomy for bladder cancer.

We examined whether extranodal extension could have an impact on the outcomes of node-positive patients who underwent radical cystectomy for bladder cancer in a single large tertiary hospital. We have shown that the presence of extranodal extension was not an independent prognostic factor in node-positive patients after radical cystectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy for bladder cancer.

OBJECTIVE

• To examine whether extranodal extension (ENE) has an impact on the outcome of node-positive patients who underwent radical cystectomy for bladder cancer.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

• Of 543 consecutive patients who underwent radical cystectomy for urothelial carcinoma of the bladder between 1990 and 2007, 112 patients with lymph node metastasis detected on histological examination were evaluated with regard to recurrence-free survival (RFS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) based on ENE status.

RESULTS

• The overall 5-year RFS and DSS rates were 22.3% and 33.8%, respectively. ENE was observed in 41 (36.6%) of the 112 patients.

• The presence of ENE was associated with advanced pathological nodal status (P= 0.004), more positive lymph nodes (P= 0.006), and higher lymph node density (P < 0.001).

• The incidence of positive ENE increased with large positive lymph node diameter (P < 0.001).

• Multivariate analysis showed that lymph node density (hazard ratio (HR) = 2.39, 95% CI 1.09–5.24, P= 0.029; and HR = 3.13, 1.43–6.84, P= 0.004) and use of adjuvant chemotherapy (HR = 1.80, 1.02–3.20, P= 0.041; and HR = 2.07, 1.13–3.79, P= 0.018) were significant predictors of RFS and DSS, respectively.

• After adjustment for other prognostic factors, ENE was not significantly related to RFS (P= 0.825) and DSS (P= 0.961) by multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

• The presence of ENE was not an independent prognostic factor in node-positive patients after radical cystectomy for bladder cancer.

• Additional prospective studies are needed to determine the independent prognostic role of ENE.

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