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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2006 Nov 1;66(3):674-9. Epub 2006 Sep 1.

Treatment of penile carcinoma: to cut or not to cut?

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland.



The aim of this study was to assess the outcome in patients with penile cancer.


A total of 60 patients with penile carcinoma were included. Of the patients, 45 (n = 27) underwent surgery, and 51 underwent definitive (n = 29) or postoperative (n = 22) radiotherapy (RT). Median follow-up was 62 months.


Median time to locoregional relapse was 14 months. Local failure was observed in 3 of 23 patients (13%) treated with surgery with or without postoperative RT vs. in 19 of 33 patients (56%) given organ-sparing treatment (p = 0.0008). Of 22 local failures, 16 (73%) were salvaged with surgery. Of the 33 patients treated with definitive RT (n = 29) and the 4 patients refusing RT after excisional biopsy, local control was obtained with organ preservation in 13 (39%). In the remaining 20, 4 patients with local failure underwent salvage conservatively, resulting in an ultimate penis preservation rate of 17 of 33 (52%) patients treated with definitive RT. The 5-year and 10-year probability of surviving with an intact penis was 43% and 26%, respectively. There was no survival difference between the patients treated with definitive RT and primary surgery (56% vs. 53%; p = 0.16). In multivariate analysis, independent factors influencing survival were N-classification and pathologic grade. Surgery was the only independent predictor for better local control.


Based on our study findings, in patients with penile cancer, local control is superior with surgery. However, there is no difference in survival between patients treated with surgery and those treated with definitive RT, with 52% organ preservation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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