There are limited data on the role of limited pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND) in patients with prostate cancer in Korea. The objective of this study was to demonstrate our clinical experience with limited PLND and the difference in its yield between open retropubic radical prostatectomy (RRP) and robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RALP) for prostate cancer patients in Korea.
Materials and Methods
We retrospectively analyzed 601 consecutive patients undergoing radical prostatectomy and bilateral limited PLND by either RRP (n=247) or RALP (n=354) in Asan Medical Center. All patients were divided into three groups according to the D'Amico's risk stratification method. Clinicopathologic data, including the yield of lymph nodes, were thoroughly reviewed and compared among the three risk groups or between the RRP and RALP subjects.
The mean patient age was 64.9 years and the mean preoperative prostate-specific antigen was 9.8 ng/ml. The median number of removed lymph nodes per patient was 5 (range, 0 to 20). The numbers of patients of each risk group were 167, 199, and 238, and the numbers of patients with tumor-positive lymph nodes were 1 (0.6%), 4 (2.0%), and 17 (7.1%) in the low-, intermediate-, and high-risk groups, respectively. In the high-risk group, the lymph node-positive ratio was higher in RRP (14.9%) than in RALP subjects (2.4%).
We speculate that limited PLND may help in prostate cancer staging in intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancer groups. RRP is a more effective surgical modality for PLND than is RALP, especially in high-risk prostate cancer groups.