Laser ablation as monotherapy for penile squamous cell carcinoma: A multi-center cohort analysis

Academic Article


  • Introduction: Although the trend towards penile sparing therapy is increasing for penile squamous cell carcinoma, outcomes for laser ablation therapy have not been widely reported. We assessed the clinical outcomes of penile cancer patients treated with only laser ablation. Materials and methods: A retrospective review was performed on 161 patients across 5 multi-center tertiary referral centers from 1985 to 2015. All patients underwent penile sparing surgery with only laser ablation for squamous cell carcinoma of the penis. Laser ablation was performed with neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet or carbon dioxide. Overall and recurrence-free survival was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared with the log rank test. Results: A total of 161 patients underwent laser ablation for penile cancer. The median age was 62 (IQR: 52–71) years and median follow-up was 57.7 (IQR: 28–90) months. The majority of patients were pTa/Tis (59, 37%) or pT1a (62, 39%). Only 19 (12%) had a poorly differentiated grade. The 5-year recurrence-free survival was 46%. When stratified by stage, the 5-year local recurrence-free survival was pTa/Tis: 50%; pT1a: 41%; pT1b: 38%; and pT2: 52%. The inguinal/pelvic nodal recurrence was pTa/Tis: 2%; pT1a: 5%; pT1b: 18%; and pT2: 22%. There were no differences among stages with respect to recurrence-free survival (P = 0.98) or overall survival (P = 0.20). Conclusion: Laser ablation therapy is safe for appropriately selected patients with penile squamous cell carcinoma. Due to the increased risk of nodal recurrence, laser ablation coupled with diagnostic nodal staging is indicated for patients with pT1b or higher.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Tang DH; Yan S; Ottenhof SR; Draeger D; Baumgarten AS; Chipollini J; Protzel C; Zhu Y; Ye DW; Hakenberg OW
  • Start Page

  • 147
  • End Page

  • 152
  • Volume

  • 36
  • Issue

  • 4