We report clinical outcomes using multi-institutional data to evaluate oncologic efficacy of lymph node dissection (LND) at the time of cytoreductive nephrectomy. Number of positive lymph nodes was an independent predictor for cancer-specific survival. The performance of lymphadenectomy with standard templates in clinical trials of new systemic therapies could further ascertain prognostic value of LND. Purpose: To determine the therapeutic value of lymph node dissection (LND) during cytoreductive nephrectomy (CN) and assess predictors of cancer-specific survival (CSS) in metastatic renal-cell carcinoma. Patients and Methods: We identified 293 consecutive patients treated with CN at 4 academic institutions from March 2000 to May 2015. LND was performed in 187 patients (63.8%). CSS was estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method for the entire cohort and for a propensity score–matched cohort. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to evaluate CSS in a multivariate model and in an inverse probability weighting–adjusted model for patients who underwent dissection. Results: Median follow-up was 12.6 months (interquartile range, 4.47, 30.3), and median survival was 15.9 months. Of the 293 patients, 187 (63.8%) underwent LND. One hundred six patients had nodal involvement (pN+) with a median CSS of 11.3 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.6, 15.9) versus 24.2 months (95% confidence interval, 14.1, 34.3) for pN− patients (log-rank P =.002). The hazard ratio for LND was 1.325 (95% CI, 1.002, 1.75) for the whole cohort and 1.024 (95% CI, 0.682, 1.537) in the propensity score–matched cohort. Multivariate analysis revealed that number of positive lymph nodes (P <.001) was a significant predictor of worse CSS. Conclusion: For patients with metastatic renal-cell carcinoma undergoing CN with lymphadenectomy, the number of nodes positive was predictive of survival at short-term follow-up. However, nonstandardized lymphadenectomy only provided prognostic information without therapeutic benefit. Prospective studies with standardized templates are required to further ascertain the therapeutic value of LND.
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