Variations in pelvic lymph node dissection in invasive bladder cancer

To assess temporal trends in radical cystectomy (RC) and pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND) and the effect of centralization of care in the Netherlands between 2006 and 2012, this nationwide population-based study included 3524 patients from the Netherlands Cancer Registry who underwent RC as the primary treatment for cT1-4a, N0 or Nx, M0 urothelial carcinoma. Annual application rates of PLND, median LNC, and rates of node-positive disease (pN+) were compared by linear-by-linear association. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify patients׳ and hospital characteristics associated with PLND and LNC≥10, and to study associations between LNC and pN+disease.

In total, 3,191 (91%) patients had PLND during RC and the use increased from 84% in 2006 to 96% in 2012 (P<0.001). Owing to centralization of care in 2010 (at least 10RCs/y/hospital), significantly more patients were treated in high-volume hospitals (≥20RC per year) in 2011 and 2012. PLND use was highest in males, younger patients and in academic, teaching, and high-volume hospitals (≥20RC per year). In 2012, PLND application rates were comparable for academic, teaching, and nonteaching hospitals (P = 0.344). Median LNC increased from 7 in 2006 to 13 in 2012 (P<0.001), 55% had an LNC≥10 (63% in 2012). Furthermore, lymph node count (LNC)≥10 was associated with cT3-4a and, pN+disease, R0 and treatment in academic, teaching, or high-volume hospitals (≥20RC per year). Rate of pN+disease increased from 18% to 24% between 2006 and 2012 (P = 0.014). This trend was significantly associated with increased LNC on a continuous scale (odds ratio = 1.03).

After centralization of care, PLND during RC for cT1-4a, N0 or Nx, M0 urothelial carcinoma has become standard in all types of Dutch hospitals. The increase in LNC between 2006 and 2012 was associated with a higher incidence of pN+disease and suggests more adequate template extension and adherence to contemporary guidelines in recent years.

Urologic oncology. 2016 Aug 01 [Epub ahead of print]

Tom Johannes Noël Hermans, Elisabeth Ernestine Fransen van de Putte, Laurent Marie Constant Leo Fossion, Erik van Werkhoven, Rob Henricus Andreas Verhoeven, Bas Wilhelmus Gerardus van Rhijn, Simon Horenblas

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