Send to

Choose Destination
Strahlenther Onkol. 1998 May;174(5):231-6.

[Locally advanced prostate carcinoma (T2b-T4 N0) without and with clinical evidence of local progression (Tx N+) with lymphatic metastasis. Is radiotherapy for pelvic lymphatic metastasis indicated or not?].

[Article in German]

Author information

Abteilung Strahlentherapie, Universitätsklinikum Benjamin Franklin, Freien Universität Berlin.



There is a greater controversy regarding the indication of radiotherapy of the pelvic lymphatics in patients with suspected lymph node metastases in locally advanced prostate cancer (T2b-4 N0) on the one hand and in patients with pathologically proven lymph node metastases in locoregional advanced prostate cancer (Tx pN+) on the other hand following definitive radiotherapy and radical prostatectomy. This paper investigates the possible indications for radiotherapy of the pelvic lymphatics in the light of data from the literature.


Because data from several retrospective studies concerning radiotherapy of the pelvic lymphatics indicated a better outcome, the RTOG conducted 2 prospective randomised studies (RTOG 75-06, 77-06) to address these questions. However, the results of these studies showed no better survival or cause specific survival for patients treated for the paraaortal or pelvic lymphatics and therefore, radiotherapy of the pelvic lymphatics was no more advocated. A reanalysis showed several problems of the study design and it was concluded that the studies couldn't prove the question of elective radiotherapy of the pelvic lymphatics. In RTOG 77-06 patients with T1b/T2 tumors were investigated. Therefore, there is no prospective study investigating the elective radiotherapy in patients with T3-tumors, who are at high risk of pelvic lymph node metastases.


Today there is no indication for treating the paraaortal lymphatics in patients with locoregional advanced prostate cancer. Many radiotherapists perform the elective radiotherapy of pelvic lymphatics when the risk of metastases is above 15 to 20% because retrospective data indicate a better outcome. On the other hand, many others don't treat them because RTOG 75-06 and 77-06 didn't demonstrate a better outcome. Laparoscopic lymphadenectomy with low morbidity seems to be helpful as in pN0 patients radiotherapy is not necessary. Where performing laparoscopic pelvine lymphadenectomy is impossible the probability of the frequency of lymph node metastases can be estimated using the clinical tumor stage, the Gleason-score and the pretherapeutic PSA. In case of proven metastases (pN+) some retrospective data indicate that patients with micrometastasis could profit from aggressive treatment. In case of proven metastases and extirpation by lymphadenectomy it seems that patients with hormonal therapy and radiotherapy have a longer tumor-free interval. However, there are no data from randomized trials.


Every radiotherapist has to make his own decision for radiotherapy of the pelvic lymphatics as there is no standard treatment. Two randomised studies are open and recruiting patients. These are one study of the ARO, investigating patients with histologically proven lymph node metastases and one study of the RTOG (RTOG 9413), investigating patients with an estimated risk of lymph node metastases > 15%. In case of radiotherapy of the pelvic lymphatics a dose of 45 Gy for suspected metastases and 50.4 Gy for proven metastases is recommended.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center