Salvage Lymph Node Dissection for Prostate Cancer Nodal Recurrence Detected by 11C-Choline Positron Emission Tomography/Computerized Tomography

R. Jeffrey Karnes, Christopher R. Murphy, Eric J. Bergstralh, Guy DiMonte, John C. Cheville, Val J. Lowe, Lance A. Mynderse, Eugene D. Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Purpose: We report salvage lymph node dissections for prostate cancer nodal recurrence detected by 11C-choline positron emission tomography/computerized tomography in the setting of increasing prostate specific antigen after radical prostatectomy. Materials and Methods: Retrospective chart review was performed for all patients who underwent salvage lymph node dissection for prostate cancer nodal recurrence. Only patients previously treated with radical prostatectomy were included in the study and those with evidence of local recurrence were excluded from analysis. Primary end points included biochemical recurrence, systemic progression and cancer specific mortality. Results: From 2009 to 2013, 52 men underwent salvage lymph node dissection. Before salvage lymph node dissection 78.8% (41 of 52) had some form of therapy after radical prostatectomy. Median age at salvage lymph node dissection was 60 years and median prostate specific antigen was 2.2 ng/ml (IQR 1.4-3.7). The median number of lymph nodes dissected was 21.5 (IQR 16-30) and the median number of positive nodes was 3.5 (IQR 1.2-6.5). Since salvage lymph node dissection 46.2% of the men (24 of 52) have had no further treatment, 34.6% (18 of 52) are on hormonal therapy and 19.2% (10 of 52) have received multiple different treatments. At the last followup at a median of 20 months (IQR 8-33), 57.7% (30 of 52) had prostate specific antigen remain less than 0.2 ng/ml, 75% (39 of 52) remained free of systemic progression and 96.2% of the men (50 of 52) were alive. Two patients died of prostate cancer. Three-year biochemical recurrence-free, systemic progression-free and cancer specific survival was 45.5%, 46.9% and 92.5%, respectively. Conclusions: This represents the largest U.S. series of salvage lymph node dissection in the setting of lymph node metastatic prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy. Although followup was short and the study lacked a randomized control group, salvage lymph node dissection may represent a valid treatment option.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • choline
  • lymph node excision
  • lymphatic metastasis
  • prostatic neoplasms
  • recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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