Regional lymphadenectomy, with both its diagnostic and therapeutic roles, serves as an integral component of the management of many malignancies. Extended pelvic lymph node dissection (LND) is the standard of care for urothelial carcinoma of the bladder, with the extent of lymphadenectomy correlating positively with cancer-related outcomes. Given their histologic similarities with bladder cancer, it is reasonable to hypothesize that a similar relationship exists for upper tract urothelial carcinomas (UTUCs). However, the data published to date have failed to consistently demonstrate a therapeutic benefit of regional LND for UTUC. As a consequence, utilization of regional lymphadenectomy remains at the discretion of the surgeon, the extent of LND lacks standardization, and its clinical utility continues to be debated. In order to better clarify the existing data, we present a review of the role of regional lymphadenectomy in patients with UTUC.
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