Pathological and oncologic outcomes for men with positive lymph nodes at radical prostatectomy: The Johns Hopkins Hospital 30-year experience

Phillip M. Pierorazio*, Michael A. Gorin, Ashley E. Ross, Zhaoyong Feng, Bruce J. Trock, Edward M. Schaeffer, Misop Han, Jonathan I. Epstein, Alan W. Partin, Patrick C. Walsh, Trinity J. Bivalacqua

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. We report the 30-year institutional experience of radical prostatectomy (RP) for men with clinically localized prostate cancer (PC) found to have lymph node (LN) metastases at surgery. METHODS. The Johns Hopkins RP Database (1982-2011) was queried for 505 (2.5%) men with node-positive (N1) PC. Survival analysis was completed using the Kaplan-Meier method and proportional hazard regression models. RESULTS. The proportion of men with N1PC was 8.3%, 3.5%, and 1.4% in the pre- (1982-1990), early- (1991-2000), and contemporary-PSA eras (2001-2011), respectively. A trend toward decreasing PSA, less palpable disease but more advanced Gleason sum was noted in the most contemporary era. Median total and positive nodes were 13.2 (1-41) and 1.7 (1-12), respectively. Of 135 patients with a unilateral tumor, 80 (59.3%), 28 (20.7%), and 15 (11.1%) had ipsilateral, contralateral, and bilateral positive LN. 15-year biochemical-recurrence free, metastases-free and cancer-specific survival was 7.1%, 41.5%, and 57.5%, respectively. Predictors of biochemical-recurrence, metastases and death from PC in multivariate analysis included Gleason sum at RP, the number and percent of positive LN; notably total number of LN dissected did not predict outcome. CONCLUSIONS. In this highly-selected RP cohort, men found to have N1PC disease at RP can experience a durable long-term metastases-free and cancer-specific survival. Predictors of survival include Gleason sum, number, and percentage of positive LN. While total number of LN dissected was not predictive, approximately 30% of men with N1PC will have positive LN contralateral to the primary prostatic lesion highlighting the importance of a thorough, bilateral pelvic LN dissection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1673-1680
Number of pages8
Issue number15
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013


  • lymph node metastases
  • prostate cancer
  • radical prostatectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Oncology


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