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Prostatectomy Helps Survival If Lymph Nodes Positive

Lymph node dissection may improve the odds of long-term survival

FRIDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Radical prostatectomies performed during the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening era on men with lymph node-positive prostate cancer are associated with good long-term survival rates, according to a report in the September issue of the Journal of Urology.

Stephen A. Boorjian, M.D., and colleagues from the Mayo Medical School and Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., conducted a retrospective analysis of 10,261 patients undergoing a radical prostatectomy during the PSA screening era of 1988 to 2001.

Overall, 507 men were lymph node-positive and 85.8 percent had a 10-year cancer-specific survival rate. Fifty-six percent had no biochemical recurrence by the end of the study. While 455 men were also treated with adjuvant hormonal therapy, the effect on survival was undetermined. Long-term survival was independent of factors such as year of surgery, tumor stage, or number of nodes removed.

However, the "precise time to administer androgen deprivation therapy in men with node-positive prostate cancer remains debated and the optimal duration of therapy remains uncertain," according to a comment by Edward M. Messing, M.D., of the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y. "Unfortunately this series cannot answer these questions."

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