Pathologic nodal downstaging in men with clinically involved lymph nodes undergoing radical prostatectomy: Implications for definitive locoregional therapy.

Document Type


Publication Date



Urology, Oncology

Journal Title

Urologic oncology

MeSH Headings

Male, Humans, Prostatectomy, Prostate, Seminal Vesicles, Lymph Nodes


A prostate cancer (CaP) patient with nonmetastatic but clinical positive lymph nodes (cN+) represents a difficult clinical scenario. We compare overall survival (OS) between cN+ men that underwent radical prostatectomy (RP) and were found to have negative node status (pN) with those found to have positive nodal status (pN+), and assess predictors of discordant nodal status. We queried the National Cancer Data Base between 2004 and 2015 for patients that were cT1-3 cN+ cM0 CaP treated with RP. Patients with 0 nodes, cT4, or cM1 disease were excluded. We compared groups based on pathologic nodal status: Discordant (cN+ -> pN) & Concordant (cN+ -> pN+). Kaplan Meier estimations were used to compare OS. Logistic regression was used to determine possible predictors of nodal status. We find that of 6470 cN+ patients, 1,367 (21.1%) underwent RP, 866 (13.4%) had confirmed nodal status. Discordant status was found in 159 (18.4%) and concordant staging in 707 (81.6%). Differences exist in PSA at diagnosis (7.3 vs. 11.2), biopsy group, # of nodes examined (7 vs. 10), race, and Charlson index. Discordant staging had longer OS compared to Concordant staging (P = 0.007) and similar OS to a 3:1 matched cohort of high risk localized CaP patients used as reference (P = 0.46). Lower Gleason Score (GG1-3) was associated with an increased likelihood of discordant staging. Clinical nodal staging is associated with a substantial false positive rate. Discordant status had better OS than Concordant status and similar OS to matched patients with localized CaP. Clinical nodal staging may inappropriately lead to noncurative therapy in a substantial number of men with potentially curable disease.