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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 91-98

Pelvic lymph node dissection alone versus adjuvant radiotherapy in node positive penile cancer: A systematic review


Faculty of Medicine, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Naufa Naushad
Faculty of Medicine, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/iju.iju_453_21

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Introduction: The management options for regional lymph nodes (LNs) in men with penile cancer include surveillance, surgery, and chemotherapy. The use of radiotherapy (RT) for nodal disease follows tradition and single-institution policies. We aimed to analyse the existing evidence regarding the management of penile cancer patients with suspected or known metastatic pelvic LNs using pelvic LN dissection (PLND) with RT versus PLND or RT alone. Methods: A systematic review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, with no filters for language or time. The search was conducted in EMBASE, MEDLINE/PubMed, and Cochrane Library. Inclusion criteria were adult men with penile cancer and suspected metastatic pelvic LNs, undergoing PLND with or without RT or RT alone. Primary outcomes included disease-specific survival and locoregional recurrence. Secondary outcomes included overall survival and complications of therapy. Results: A total of 552 articles were identified. Only eight retrospective studies were eligible for inclusion (including 406 patients). All studies had a high risk of bias. None of the studies reported the use of neoadjuvant RT. Indications for PLND varied but were usually two or more clinically positive inguinal nodes with or without extracapsular extension. Adjuvant RT was mainly used in positive pelvic LNs or pN2/pN3 stages. The rate of locoregional recurrence following adjuvant RT was 70%. Complications of treatment were reported in two studies only. Conclusions: There is insufficient evidence to recommend the use of adjuvant RT following PLND in penile cancer patients. The quality of evidence is low due to the retrospective design and high risk of bias. Randomized clinical trials are required to assess the efficacy and safety of adjuvant RT and PLND.


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