The extranodal extension (ENE) of nodal metastasis involves the extension of neoplastic cells through the lymph node capsule into the perinodal adipose tissue. This morphological feature has recently been indicated as an important prognostic factor in various cancer types, but its role in prostate cancer is still unclear. We aimed to clarify it, performing the first meta-Analysis on this issue, comparing prognostic parameters in surgically treated, node-positive prostate cancer patients with (ENE+) vs. without (ENE-) ENE. Data were summarized using risk ratios (RRs) for number of deaths/recurrences and hazard ratios (HRs), with 95% confidence intervals (CI), for the time-dependent risk related to ENE positivity. Six studies followed-up 1,113 patients with N1 prostate cancer (658 ENE+ vs. 455 ENE-) for a median of 83 months. The presence of ENE was associated with a significantly higher risk of biochemical recurrence (RR = 1.15; 95%CI: 1.03-1.28; I2 = 0%; HR = 1.40, 95%CI: 1.12-1.74; I2 = 0%) and "global" (biochemical recurrence and distant metastasis) recurrence (RR = 1.15; 95%CI: 1.04-1.28; I2 = 0%; HR = 1.41, 95%CI: 1.14-1.74; I2 = 0%). ENE emerged as a potential prognostic moderator, earmarking a subgroup of patients at higher risk of recurrence. It may be considered for the prognostic stratification of metastatic patients. New possible therapeutic approaches may explore more in depth this prognostic parameter.
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