Multimodality therapy in penile cancer: When and which treatments?

Lance C. Pagliaro, Juanita Crook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objectives: Metastatic penile cancer typically comes to attention while the clinical extent of disease is limited to the inguinal or pelvic lymph nodes. Primary surgical management of lymph node metastases achieves tumor control and long-term survival for only a small percentage of these patients. To determine the optimal use of multimodality treatment in locally advanced penile cancer, we conducted a literature review. Methods: Relevant English-language literature was identified with the use of Medline; additional cited works not detected on the initial search were also reviewed. Results: There is an emerging strategy of preoperative (neoadjuvant) combination chemotherapy to improve the progression-free survival of penile cancer patients with bulky regional lymph node metastases. Radiotherapy for inguinal metastases and postoperative (adjuvant) radiation for selected patients has also been effective in this setting. Conclusions: In patients with lymph node metastases, the benefit of ilioinguinal lymphadenectomy may be extended by the addition of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Postoperative radiotherapy can be offered depending on the amount of residual disease after chemotherapy. Chemo-radiotherapy has been successful in squamous cell cancers from other sites (vulva and anal canal) and may be considered for unresectable penile cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-225
Number of pages5
JournalWorld Journal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


  • Adjuvant radiotherapy
  • Cisplatin
  • Combined modality therapy
  • Penile neoplasms
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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