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Penile Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)

  • Last Modified: 03/07/2014

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Stage I Penile Cancer

Current Clinical Trials

Stage I penile cancer is defined by the following TNM classification:[1]

  • T1a, N0, M0

Stage I penile cancer is curable.[2]

Standard treatment options:

  1. For lesions limited to the foreskin, wide local excision with circumcision may be adequate therapy for control.
  2. For infiltrating tumors of the glans with or without involvement of the adjacent skin, the choice of therapy is dictated by tumor size, extent of infiltration, and degree of tumor destruction of normal tissue. Equivalent therapeutic options include:
    • Penile amputation.[3]
    • Radiation therapy (i.e., external-beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy).[4,5]
    • Microscopically controlled surgery.[6]

Treatment options under clinical evaluation:

  • Nd:YAG laser therapy has offered excellent control/cure with preservation of cosmetic appearance and sexual function.[7,8]

Because of the high incidence of microscopic node metastases, elective adjunctive inguinal dissection of clinically uninvolved (negative) lymph nodes in conjunction with amputation is often used for patients with poorly differentiated tumors. Lymphadenectomy can carry substantial morbidity, such as infection, skin necrosis, wound breakdown, chronic edema, and even a low, but finite, mortality rate. The impact of prophylactic lymphadenectomy on survival is not known. For these reasons, opinions vary on its use.[9-12]

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage I penile cancer. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.

References
  1. Penis. In: Edge SB, Byrd DR, Compton CC, et al., eds.: AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 7th ed. New York, NY: Springer, 2010, pp 447-55. 

  2. Harty JI, Catalona WJ: Carcinoma of the penis. In: Javadpour N, ed.: Principles and Management of Urologic Cancer. 2nd ed. Baltimore, Md: Williams and Wilkins, 1983, pp 581-597. 

  3. Lynch DF, Pettaway CA: Tumors of the penis. In: Walsh PC, Retik AB, Vaughan ED, et al., eds.: Campbell's Urology. 8th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2002, pp 2945-2947. 

  4. Chao KS, Perez CA: Penis and male urethra. In: Perez CA, Brady LW, eds.: Principles and Practice of Radiation Oncology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott-Raven Publishers, 1998, pp 1717-1732. 

  5. McLean M, Akl AM, Warde P, et al.: The results of primary radiation therapy in the management of squamous cell carcinoma of the penis. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 25 (4): 623-8, 1993.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  6. Mohs FE, Snow SN, Messing EM, et al.: Microscopically controlled surgery in the treatment of carcinoma of the penis. J Urol 133 (6): 961-6, 1985.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  7. Smith JA Jr.: Lasers in clinical urologic surgery. In: Dixon JA, ed.: Surgical Application of Lasers. 2nd ed. Chicago, Ill: Year Book Medical Publishers, Inc., 1987, pp 218-237. 

  8. Horenblas S, van Tinteren H, Delemarre JF, et al.: Squamous cell carcinoma of the penis. II. Treatment of the primary tumor. J Urol 147 (6): 1533-8, 1992.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  9. Theodorescu D, Russo P, Zhang ZF, et al.: Outcomes of initial surveillance of invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the penis and negative nodes. J Urol 155 (5): 1626-31, 1996.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  10. Lindegaard JC, Nielsen OS, Lundbeck FA, et al.: A retrospective analysis of 82 cases of cancer of the penis. Br J Urol 77 (6): 883-90, 1996.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  11. Ornellas AA, Seixas AL, Marota A, et al.: Surgical treatment of invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the penis: retrospective analysis of 350 cases. J Urol 151 (5): 1244-9, 1994.  [PUBMED Abstract]

  12. Young MJ, Reda DJ, Waters WB: Penile carcinoma: a twenty-five-year experience. Urology 38 (6): 529-32, 1991.  [PUBMED Abstract]