Article Abstract

Long-term outcomes for penile cancer patients presenting with advanced N3 disease requiring a myocutaneous flap reconstruction or primary closure—a retrospective single centre study

Authors: Hussain M. Alnajjar, Findlay MacAskill, Michelle Christodoulidou, Ash Mosahebi, Clare Akers, Raj Nigam, Peter Malone, David Ralph, Anita Mitra, Asif Muneer


Background: Penile cancer patients with advanced metastatic disease in the inguinal region present a therapeutic challenge. We compared the outcomes for patients with advanced inguinal node disease requiring myocutaneous flap reconstruction (MFR) against primary closure for N3 disease.
Methods: A retrospective comparative study of a consecutive cohort of advanced penile cancer patients with N3 disease was performed. Patient demographics, presenting symptoms, primary tumour site, stage and grade were recorded. The type of MFR used, patient outcomes and post-operative complications were recorded from an institutional database. Kaplan-Meier (KM) curves were calculated to analyse the cancer-specific survival (CSS) rates for the MFR group and compared with the no-MFR group. P values were calculated by log-rank and Chi square tests for CSS rates and complications respectively.
Results: Eighteen patients requiring MFR were identified; mean age 62 years. Ten (55.6%) patients had a first presentation with penile cancer and advanced nodal disease with the remaining 8 (44.4%) presenting with an inguinal recurrence having already undergone surgery. The majority (n=15) underwent a vertical rectus abdominis myocutaneous (VRAM) flap. The average length of stay was 23 days for the MFR group versus 8.5 days for the no-MFR group. The 5-year CSS was 20.9% for the MFR group and 39.8% for the no-MFR group (P<0.01).
Conclusions: Aggressive surgical management for patients with extensive nodal disease and flap reconstruction is feasible and aids wound management although the long-term prognosis is still poor.