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Eur Urol. 1999 Dec;36(6):570-5.

Radical nephrectomy with and without lymph node dissection: preliminary results of the EORTC randomized phase III protocol 30881. EORTC Genitourinary Group.

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  • 1EORTC Data Center, Brussels, Belgium.



The authors present demographic and surgical data from a randomized phase III trial, instituted by the EORTC Genitourinary Group in 1988, the aim of which was to assess whether complete lymph node dissection in conjunction with radical nephrectomy for renal cell cancer is more effective than radical nephrectomy alone.


Before surgery, the renal cell carcinoma was staged and judged to be nonmetastatic and resectable. The patients were randomized prior to surgery into those having radical nephrectomy combined with complete lymph node dissection or into those having radical nephrectomy alone. Postoperatively all patients were followed until progression of disease or death.


Of the 772 randomized patients, 41 were not eligible. 383 had a complete lymph node dissection together with a radical nephrectomy. 389 had a radical nephrectomy alone. The complication rate did not differ significantly between the two groups. A complete lymph node dissection in 336 patients revealed absence of lymph node metastases in 325 of them.


The present study shows that complete lymph node dissection does not add morbidity to the radical nephrectomy. After proper preoperative staging, the incidence of unsuspected lymph node metastases is low (3.3%).

Copyright 1999 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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