One Third of Patients with Lymph Node-Positive Penile Cancer Don’t Receive Recommended Care

Daniel Geynisman, MD
Daniel Geynisman, MD

PHILADELPHIA (March 1, 2018) – One third of men with lymph node-positive penile cancer don’t receive a lymph node dissection, the recommended care associated with an overall survival advantage, researchers from Fox Chase Cancer Center have found. The paper appears in JAMA Oncology.

The researchers used the National Cancer Database to evaluate patient care at hospitals nationwide, and found that men had a better overall survival rate after undergoing a lymph node dissection, while neither chemotherapy nor radiation was associated with a survival benefit. But, they found that one third of patients did not undergo a lymph node dissection.

“These data highlight opportunities to improve adherence to guideline-recommended care,” said Daniel Geynisman, MD, a medical oncologist at Fox Chase and senior author of the study.  Dr. Geynisman is also a member of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Fox Chase.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines advocate for lymph node dissection or radiotherapy with consideration of perioperative chemotherapy for all patients with lymph node-positive penile cancer without metastasis.

Researchers also found that while the use of chemotherapy has increased over the past decade, rates remain below 50 percent. Older patients in particular were less likely to receive chemotherapy.

In addition to improving current care, prospective clinical trials are needed to better understand the utility of these treatments,” said Shreyas Joshi, a urologic oncology fellow and lead author of the study.

Penile cancer is an uncommon disease, affecting less than one percent of men with cancer in the United States and multidisciplinary care at a center of excellence is recommended.

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence six consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

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