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Article of the Week: DSNB for Penile Cancer

Every Week the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. This blog is intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation.

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

 

Dynamic sentinel lymph node biopsy for penile cancer: a comparison between 1- and 2-day protocols

Panagiotis Dimopoulos*, Panagiotis Christopoulos*, Sam Shilito, Zara Gall*, Brian Murby§, David Ashworth§, Ben Taylor, Bernadette Carrington, Jonathan Shanks**, Noel Clarke*, Vijay Ramani*, Nigel Parr*, Maurice Lau* and Vijay Sangar*

 

Departments of *Urology, §Nuclear Medicine, Radiology , **Pathology, The Christie Hospital, ManchesterMedical School, University of Manchester, Manchester, and Department of Urology, Royal Bolton Hospital, Bolton Lancashire, UK

Objective

To determine the outcome of clinically negative node (cN0) patients with penile cancer undergoing dynamic sentinel node biopsy (DSNB), comparing the results of a 1- and 2-day protocol that can be used as a minimal invasive procedure for staging of penile cancer.

Patients and Methods

This is a retrospective analysis of 151 cN0 patients who underwent DSNB from 2008 to 2013 for newly diagnosed penile cancer. Data were analysed per groin and separated into groups according to the protocol followed. The comparison of the two protocols involved the number of nodes excised, γ-counts, false-negative rates (FNR), and complication rates (Clavien–Dindo grading system).

JuneAOTW3

Results

In all, 280 groins from 151 patients underwent DSNB after a negative ultrasound ± fine-needle aspiration cytology. The 1-day protocol was performed in 65 groins and the 2-day protocol in 215. Statistically significantly more nodes were harvested with the 1-day protocol (1.92/groin) compared with the 2-day protocol (1.60/groin). The FNRs were 0%, 6.8% and 5.1%, for the 1-day protocol, 2-day protocol, and overall, respectively. Morbidity of the DSNB was 21.4% for all groins, and 26.2% and 20.1% for the 1-day and 2-day protocols, respectively. Most of the complications were of Clavien–Dindo Grade 1–2.

Conclusions

DSNB is safe for staging patients with penile cancer. There is a trend towards a 1-day protocol having a lower FNR than a 2-day protocol, albeit at the expense of a slightly higher complication rate.

Editorial: One Day Protocol for Early Penile Cancer – The Way to Go

The present article by Dimopoulos et al. [1] has some useful lessons on the development of new services. The authors have kept a detailed database of all patients going through their super-regional network, and have designed the protocol around the patient, whereby the primary and regional lymph nodes are dealt with in one visit. Previously, bilateral inguinal lymph node dissection (ILND) was so fraught with complications that it would not be combined routinely with organ-sparing surgery of the penis [2]; however, the significantly lower complication rate of dynamic sentinel node biopsy (DSNB) has allowed the more streamlined approach. The ‘only handle it once’ (OHIO) philosophy is surely not only preferable for the patient, but also reduces the risk of patients not receiving ideal management. In most cases, a biopsy at the time of presentation, along with physical examination/imaging, can determine those requiring DSNB instead of waiting for final pathology from the primary tumour. The controversy surrounding DSNB compared with ILND has been the false-negative rates. The pioneering group from the Netherlands reported four deaths in six patients with false-negative results [3]. In the present paper, the overall false-negative rate was 5.8%, but the smaller and newer cohort of patients underwent a same-day protocol and had zero false-negatives. This may be attributable to the fact that biopsies were taken from a total sample of 65 or that slightly more nodes were taken in this group. We expect the one-day protocol to become standard, and future independent reports will be welcome. Should there truly be a 0% false-negative rate then the controversy is resolved and prophylactic ILND will become a historical procedure. Finally, the lower morbidity of the present study cohort allowed the authors to move the intermediate-risk group from surveillance to nodal biopsy, which proved justified because some of these cases had micrometastatic disease. We congratulate the group for their scientific approach to improving the quality of care for patients and for bringing their data to publication.

Paul K. Hegarty and Peter E. Lonergan
Urology, National Penile Cancer Centre, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

 

References

 

1 Dimopoulos P, Christopoulos P, Shilito S et al. Dynamic sentinel lymph node biopsy for penile cancer: a comparison between 1- and 2-day protocols. BJU Int 2016; 117: 8906

 

2 Hegarty PK, Eardley I, Heidenreich A et al. Penile cancer: Organ-sparing techniques. BJU Int 2014; 114: 799805

 

3 Kroon BK, Horenblas S, Meinhardt W et al. Dynaminc sentinel node biopsy in penile cancer: evaluation of 10 years experience. Eur Urol 2005; 47: 6016

 

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