Extranodal extension in lymph node-positive prostate cancer

Liang Cheng, Thomas M. Pisansky, Dharamdas M. Ramnani, Bradley C. Leibovich, John C. Cheville, Jeff Slezak, Erik J. Bergstralh, Horst Zincke, David G. Bostwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Evaluation of extranodal tumor extension may provide prognostic information for patients with epithelial malignancies. However, its importance for the patient who has prostate cancer with regional lymph node metastasis requires further investigation and clarification. This study was performed to evaluate the prognostic significance of extranodal extension (ENE) in a large series of node-positive patients. The study group included 212 node-positive patients who were treated by bilateral pelvic lymphadenectomy, radical retropubic prostatectomy, and androgen deprivation between 1987 and 1992 at the Mayo Clinic. ENE was defined as cancer perforating through the lymph node capsule into perinodal tissue. Nodal cancer volume was measured by the grid method. Univariate and multivariate risk ratios (RR) for distant metastasis-free and cancer-specific survival were estimated using the Cox proportional model. The mean follow-up was 6.3 years (median, 6.1 years). Distant metastasis-free and cancer-specific survival at 5 years for all patients was 91% and 95%, respectively. ENE was found in 126 of 212 patients (59%). The presence of ENE was not significantly associated with distant metastasis-free (RR = 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7 to 3.9) or cancer-specific survival (RR = 2.2; 95% CI, 0.7 to 6.8). Among 98 patients with a single positive node, there was no significant difference in distant metastasis or cancer-specific survival according to the presence of ENE (P = .88 and P = .36, respectively). After adjusting for Gleason score, DNA ploidy, and ENE, only nodal cancer volume was significantly associated with adverse distant metastasis-free (RR = 1.9; 95% CI, 1.5 to 2.8) and cancer-specific survival (RR = 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.9). Our data indicate that the presence of ENE is not associated with unfavorable survival in patients with node-positive prostate cancer treated by radical retropubic prostatectomy, bilateral pelvic lymphadenectomy, and androgen deprivation therapy. In contrast, nodal cancer volume was predictive of distant metastasis-free survival and cancer-specific survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2000


  • Extranodal extension
  • Metastasis
  • Neoplasm
  • Prognosis
  • Prostate
  • Staging
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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