Retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy did not impact OS and DFS for high risk, nonmetastatic renal cell carcinoma


Retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy (LND) did not improve overall or disease-free survival in fully resected, high-risk, nonmetastatic renal cell carcinoma, according to a secondary analysis of the ASSURE adjuvant trial.

Patients were randomized to adjuvant sorafenib, sunitinib, or placebo in the ASSURE (Adjuvant Sorafenib and Sunitinib for Unfavorable Renal Carcinoma) trial , and those at high risk – which was defined by cN+ disease or determined at their surgeon’s discretion – underwent LND. The primary objective was to assess the effect of LND on overall survival; secondary objectives included the effect of LND on disease-free survival and the benefit of adjuvant therapy vs. placebo in patients who underwent LND.

Overall, 1,943 patients were enrolled in the ASSURE trial, of which 36.1% (701 patients) underwent LND. A median of three lymph nodes (interquartile range, one to eight) was examined, and disease was pN+ in 23.4% patients. A majority of the patients were male (67.4%), with a median age of 56 years. Most (94.5%) patients underwent radical nephrectomy, and 57.2% patients had open surgery rather than laparoscopic. Tumors were clear cell in 81.7% of cases and Fuhrman grade 3-4 in 66.1%, investigators reported in the Journal Of Urology .

“There was no improvement in overall survival for lymphadenectomy relative to no lymphadenectomy (HR, 1.14; 95% CI, 0.93-1.39; P = .20). For patients who underwent lymphadenectomy with pN+ disease, no improvement in overall or disease-free survival was observed for adjuvant therapy relative to placebo. Lymphadenectomy was overall safe, and did not increase the risk of surgical complications (14.2% vs. 13.4%; P = .63),” wrote Benjamin Ristau, MD, of Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and his colleagues. LND was independently associated with other markers of aggressive surgical resection, such as open surgery, radical nephrectomy, and adrenalectomy.

The role of lymphadenectomy in patients undergoing surgery for high-risk renal cell carcinoma remains elusive, the authors wrote. Future strategies include a prospective trial in which patients with high-risk renal cell carcinoma are randomized to specific lymphadenectomy templates.

This study was supported by the National Cancer Institute of National Institutes of Health and the Canadian Cancer Research Institute. Christopher G. Wood reported conflicts of interest with Pfizer, Novartis and Argos. Other authors reported no conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: Ristau BT et al. J Urol. 2018 Jan. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2017.07.042 .