Natural History of Clinical Recurrence Patterns of Lymph Node-Positive Prostate Cancer After Radical Prostatectomy

Marco Moschini, Vidit Sharma, Fabio Zattoni, J. Fernando Quevedo, Brian J. Davis, Eugene D Kwon, Robert Jeffrey Karnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with lymph node (LN)-positive prostate cancer (PCa) at radical prostatectomy (RP) face a high risk of cancer recurrence. Nevertheless, recurrence patterns of LN-positive PCa and their prognostic significance remain understudied in the literature. Objective: To analyze a large single-institution series with long-term follow-up to elucidate the various clinical recurrence patterns of LN-positive PCa and their association with oncologic outcomes. Design, setting, and participants: Years 1987-2012 of a prospectively maintained institutional RP registry were queried for men with LN-positive PCa at RP. Clinical recurrences were categorized as local, nodal, skeletal, or visceral. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: In addition to descriptive statistics and Kaplan-Meier analysis, univariable and multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were constructed to predict recurrence and to quantify the impact of recurrence patterns on cancer-specific mortality (CSM). Results and limitations: Data from 1011 men with LN-positive PCa at RP were analyzed with 17.6 yr of median follow-up. The 15-yr clinical recurrence rate was 33% (95% confidence interval [CI], 31-35%) for all patients and 52.2% (95% CI, 47.3-57.1%) for patients with biochemical recurrence. The solitary locations were skeletal (n = 94, 55%), nodal (n = 59, 34%), local soft tissue (n = 29, 17%), and visceral (n = 8, 5%). Significant multivariable predictors of recurrence were Gleason score 8-10, number of positive nodes, pathologic Gleason score, and more recent year of surgery. The 15-yr CSM after clinical recurrence was 80%, with a mean overall survival of 30 mo after recurrence. On multivariable analysis, recurrences after 5 yr from RP (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.05), multiple recurrences (HR: 1.97), skeletal (HR: 3.13), and visceral metastases (HR: 7.43) were independently associated with CSM (all p <. 0.05). Conclusions: Recurrences after RP for LN-positive PCa are heterogeneous in terms of time from RP, location, and number of concomitant lesions. Patient summary: We found that impact of recurrence patterns on cancer-specific mortality varies significantly and allows these patients to be stratified for purposes of prognostication, follow-up, and therapy. Recurrences after radical prostatectomy for lymph node-positive prostate cancer vary significantly among patients; however, patients can be stratified by demographic and pathologic characteristics to calculate prognosis and to tailor follow-up and therapeutic strategies according to type of recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean Urology
StateAccepted/In press - 2015


  • Lymph node
  • Metastasis
  • Prostate cancer
  • Recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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