Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection has been advocated for the management of post-chemotherapy (PC-RPLND) residual masses of non-seminomatous germ cell tumors of the testis (NSGCT). There remains some debate as to the clinical benefit and associated morbidity. Our objective was to report our experience with PC-RPLND in NSGCT.
We have reviewed the clinical, pathologic and surgical parameters associated with PC-RPLND in a single institution. Between 1994 and 2008, three surgeons operated 73 patients with residual masses after cisplatin-based chemotherapy for a metastatic testicular cancer. Patients needed to have normal postchemotherapy serum tumor markers, no prior surgical attempts to resect retroperitoneal masses and resectable retroperitoneal tumor mass at surgery to be included in this analysis
Mean age was 30.4 years old. Fifty-three percent had mixed germ cell tumors. The mean size of retroperitoneal metastasis was 6.3 and 4.0 cm, before and post-chemotherapy, respectively. In 56% of patients, the surgeon was able to perform a nerve sparing procedure. The overall complication rate was 27.4% and no patient died due to surgical complications. The pathologic review showed presence of fibrosis/necrosis, teratoma and viable tumor (non-teratoma) in 27 (37.0%), 30 (41.1%) and 16 (21.9%) patients, respectively. The subgroups presenting fibrosis and large tumors were more likely to have a surgical complication and had less nerve sparing procedures.
PC-RPLND is a relatively safe procedure. The presence of fibrosis and large residual masses are associated with surgical complications and non-nerve-sparing procedure.
The management of the residual mass in the retroperitoneum following induction chemotherapy for metastatic testicular cancer has evolved over the past three decades. A multidisciplinary approach involving cisplatin-based chemotherapy and postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (PC-RPLND) has increased long-term survival rates above 80%. Advances into the appropriate patient selection and timing of surgery have lowered morbidity while improving oncologic outcomes. However, areas of controversy still exist within the field. Management of the small residual mass, predictors of the histology of the residual mass, the extent of PC-RPLND, the role of PC-RPLND in the setting of elevated serum tumor markers, and the role of positron-emission tomography are all topics of ongoing research and debate. We will discuss these issues and review the current guidelines for the management of the residual postchemotherapy retroperitoneal mass in this review.
testes; neoplasm; residual; seminoma; neoplasm; germ cell; retroperitoneal lymph node dissection; post-chemotherapy
Clinical stage I testicular nonseminomatous germ cell tumours (NSGCTs) are highly curable. Following orchidectomy a risk-adapted approach using active surveillance (AS), nerve-sparing retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (nsRPLND) and primary chemotherapy is recommended by the current guidelines. Clinical stage I is defined as negative or declining tumour markers to their half-life following orchidectomy and negative imaging studies of the chest, abdomen and retroperitoneum. Active surveillance can be performed in low-risk and in high-risk NSGCTs with an anticipated relapse rate of about 15% and 50%. The majority of patients will relapse with good and intermediate prognosis tumours which have to be treated with three to four cycles chemotherapy. About 25–30% of these patients will have to undergo postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (PC-RPLND) for residual masses. Primary chemotherapy with one or two cycles of cisplatin (Platinol), etoposide and bleomycin (PEB) is a therapeutic option for high-risk clinical stage I NSGCT associated with a recurrence rate of only 2–3% and a minimal acute and long-term toxicity rate. nsRPLND, if performed properly, will cure about 85% of all high-risk patients with clinical stage I NSGCT without the need for chemotherapy. PC-RPLND forms an integral part of the multimodality treatment in patients with advanced testicular germ cell tumours (TGCTs). According to current guidelines and recommendations, PC-RPLND in advanced seminomas with residual tumours is only indicated if a positron emission tomography (PET) scan performed 6–8 weeks after chemotherapy is positive. In nonseminomatous TGCT, PC-RPLND is indicated for all residual radiographic lesions with negative or plateauing markers. Loss of antegrade ejaculation represents the most common long-term complication which can be prevented by a nerve-sparing or modified template resection. The relapse rate after PC-RPLND is around 12%, however it increases significantly to about 45% in cases with redo RPLND and late relapses. Patients with increasing markers should undergo salvage chemotherapy. Only select patients with elevated markers who are thought to be chemorefractory might undergo desperation PC-RPLND if all radiographically visible lesions are completely resectable. PC-RPLND requires a complex surgical approach and should be performed in experienced, tertiary referral centres only.
testicular cancer; germ cell tumour; retroperitoneal lymph node dissection; retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy; postchemotherapy RPLND
This study assesses the long-term outcomes in Han Chinese patients with clinical stage I non-seminomatous germ cell testicular cancer (CSI NSGCT) treated with surveillance, retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) and adjuvant chemotherapy. We retrospectively evaluated 89 patients with a mean age of 26.5 years. After orchiectomy, 37 patients were treated with surveillance, 34 underwent RPLND and 18 were managed with chemotherapy. The overall survival rate, the recurrence-free survival rate and the risk factors were evaluated. The median follow-up length was 92 months (range: 6–149 months). Thirteen of the 89 patients (14.6%) had relapses, and one died by the evaluation date. The overall survival rate was 98.9%. The cumulative 4-year recurrence-free rates were 80.2%, 92.0% and 100% for the surveillance, RPLND and chemotherapy groups, respectively. The disease-free period tended to be briefer in patients with a history of cryptorchidism and those with stage Is. Therefore, surveillance, RPLND and adjuvant chemotherapy might be reliable strategies in compliant patients with CSI NSGCT. Surveillance should be recommended for patients with the lowest recurrence rate, especially those without lymphovascular invasion. This study might aid the establishment of a standard therapy for CSI NSGCT in China.
chemotherapy; clinical stage I non-seminomatous germ cell testicular cancer (CSI NSGCT); outcome; retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND); surveillance; treatment protocols
Recent studies have demonstrated that pathological analysis of retroperitoneal residual masses of patients with testicular germ cell tumors revealed findings of necrotic debris or fibrosis in up to 50% of patients. We aimed at pursuing a clinical and pathological review of patients undergoing post chemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (PC-RPLND) in order to identify variables that may help predict necrosis in the retroperitoneum.
We performed a retrospective analysis of all patients who underwent PC-RPLND at the University Hospital of the University of São Paulo and Cancer Institute of Sao Paulo between January 2005 and September 2011. Clinical and pathological data were obtained and consisted basically of: measures of retroperitoneal masses, histology of the orchiectomy specimen, serum tumor marker and retroperitoneal nodal size before and after chemotherapy.
We gathered a total of 32 patients with a mean age of 29.7; pathological analysis in our series demonstrated that 15 (47%) had necrosis in residual retroperitoneal masses, 15 had teratoma (47%) and 2 (6.4%) had viable germ cell tumors (GCT). The mean size of the retroperitoneal mass was 4.94 cm in our sample, without a difference between the groups (P = 0.176). From all studied variables, relative changes in retroperitoneal lymph node size (P = 0.04), the absence of teratoma in the orchiectomy specimen (P = 0.03) and the presence of choriocarcinoma in the testicular analysis after orchiectomy (P = 0.03) were statistically significant predictors of the presence of necrosis. A reduction level of 35% was therefore suggested to be the best cutoff for predicting the absence of tumor in the retroperitoneum with a sensitivity of 73.3% and specificity of 82.4%.
Even though retroperitoneal lymph node dissection remains the gold standard for patients with residual masses, those without teratoma in the primary tumor and a shrinkage of 35% or more in retroperitoneal mass have a considerably smaller chance of having viable GCT or teratoma in the retroperitoneum and a surveillance program could be considered.
Testicular cancer; Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection; Necrosis; Teratoma
The management of patients with testicular germ cell tumors (GCT) has evolved significantly over the past 30 years with cure rates approaching nearly 100% for low-stage disease and more than 80% for advanced disease. Controversy surrounds about ideal management of clinical stage I non seminomatous germ cell tumors (CS I NSGCT) of the testis due to multiple treatment options available with more or less equal efficacy. Nerve-sparing retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND), adjuvant chemotherapy with two cycles of bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin , or surveillance have all achieved long-term survival in nearly 100% of patients with clinical stage I NSGCT. Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection is still favoured as the therapy of choice for clinical stage I non-seminomatous germ cell tumors in many centres, but as risk factors for the primary tumor have become better understood, surveillance and risk-adapted therapy, including surveillance for low-risk patients and adjuvant chemotherapy for the high-risk group, is now being considered a therapeutic option. The objective of this study is to review current developments in the management of CS I NSGCT testis with emphasis on risk stratification and treatment recommendations.
Testis cancer; NSGCT stage 1; Surveillance; Chemotherapy; RPLND
Following the multidisciplinary management of metastatic germ cell tumor, approximately 10 to 15% of patients with the histologic finding of fibrosis or teratoma will suffer disease recurrence. We evaluated the prognostic significance of the total number of lymph nodes obtained at post-chemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (PC-RPLND).
Materials and Methods
From 1989 to 2006, a total of 628 patients underwent PC-RPLND and were found to have either fibrosis or teratoma. Following Institutional Review Board approval, complete clinical and pathologic data were obtained from our prospective testis cancer surgical database. A Cox proportional hazards regression model was constructed to evaluate the association of the total number of lymph nodes obtained at PC-RPLND on disease recurrence.
On pathologic evaluation, 248 (57%) patients had fibrosis and 184 (43%) patients had teratoma. The median number of lymph nodes resected was 25 (IQ range 15, 37). On multivariable analysis, increasing post-chemotherapy nodal size and decreasing lymph node counts were significant predictors of disease recurrence (p=0.01, 0.04, respectively). For patients with 10 nodes removed, the predicted 2 year relapse free probability was 90%, compared to 97% when 50 nodes were removed.
Our data suggests that the total number of lymph nodes removed and analyzed is an independent predictor of disease recurrence following PC-RPLND. This has implications both for the urologist to assure completeness of resection and for the pathologist to meticulously assess the pathologic specimens.
testis cancer; surgery; chemotherapy; lymph node count
We evaluated clinical parameters associated with recovery of ejaculation following nerve-sparing post-chemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (PC-RPLND) for non-seminomatous germ cell tumor.
We queried our institutional database for all patients who underwent nerve-sparing PC-RPLND between 1995 and 2005 using a bilateral template. Nerve-sparing was carried out whenever technically feasible and oncologically prudent. Antegrade ejaculation was defined as any seminal fluid expulsion and was determined by patient report. We evaluated recovery of antegrade ejaculation based on clinical and pathologic parameters and fit a logistic regression model to determine which pre-operative variables are associated with antegrade ejaculation.
A total of 341 patients had PC-RPLND during the study period, 136 (40%) with nerve sparing techniques. Post-operative antegrade ejaculation was reported by 107/136 (79%) of patients with information available. On the multivariable analysis, a right-sided primary testicular tumor (OR 0.4, 95% CI: 0.1, 1.0, p=0.044) and residual masses ≥5 cm (OR 0.1, 95% CI: 0.0, 0.7, p=0.020) were associated with retrograde ejaculation. However, 40/54 (74%) with right-sided primary tumors and 4/9 (44%) with mass ≥5 cm reported antegrade ejaculation. The 5-year relapse free survival was 98% with a median follow up of 39 months (IQR 19, 66).
Nerve-sparing PC-RPLND is associated with excellent functional return of antegrade ejaculation, is feasible in select patients with bulky disease, and has excellent oncologic outcomes.
Testicular Cancer; Chemotherapy; Surgery; Ejaculation; Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection
The treatment options in clinical stage I nonseminomatous germ cell tumor (NSGCT) of testis are either surveillance, chemotherapy or retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND). While open RPLND still serves as the gold standard, laparoscopic and robot assisted laparoscopic approaches are gaining popularity. In this report, we share our experience and technique of robot assisted laparoscopic RPLND in a patient with clinical stage Ib NSGCT of testis.
Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection; robotic; testicular tumor
Open retroperitoneal lymph node dissection has been traditionally used for
the management of patients with nonseminomatous germ-cell tumors (NSGCTs).
Over the last decade, laparoscopic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection
(LRPLND) has gained popularity in several highly specialized centers.
We retrospectively reviewed the English-language literature with regard to
LRPLND. The perioperative and oncologic outcomes for patients with low stage
NSGCTs who underwent LRPLND are summarized in this review with particular
emphasis on contemporary studies.
Initially only used for staging, LRPLND has evolved to a therapeutic
procedure capable of replicating the templates used for open RPLND.
Perioperative outcomes including operative time, conversion rates and
complications improve with surgeon experience and are acceptable at high
volume centers. Oncologic outcomes are promising, but require longer term
follow-up and the administration of adjuvant chemotherapy in many studies
limits comparison to that of the open technique.
LRPLND has been demonstrated to be feasible and safe at large volume
institutions with experienced laparoscopic surgeons. LRPLND was originally
performed as a staging procedure in patients with NSGCTs but has evolved
into a therapeutic operation with early reports demonstrating short hospital
stays and minimal morbidity. Further studies in larger cohorts of patients
with longer term follow up are required to define the exact role of
testicular cancer; laparoscopic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection
Patients with clinical stage I testicular germ cell tumors have been managed with adjuvant radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND). The use of surveillance-only strategies at referral centers has yielded survival outcomes comparable to those achieved with adjuvant therapy. We evaluated compliance with follow-up protocols developed at referral centers within the community.
We identified patients with stage I testis cancer within a large private insurance claims database and calculated compliance of follow-up test use with guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
Surveillance was widely used in the community. Compliance with surveillance and postadjuvant therapy follow-up testing was poor and degraded with increasing time from diagnosis. Nearly 30% of all surveillance patients received no abdominal imaging, chest imaging, or tumor marker tests within the first year of diagnosis. Patients who elected RPLND were most compliant with recommended follow-up testing within the first year. Recurrence rates were consistent with previously reported literature, despite poor compliance.
Surveillance is a widely accepted strategy in clinical stage I testicular cancer treatment in the community. However, follow-up care recommendations developed at referral centers are not being adhered to in the community. Although recurrence rates are similar to those of reported literature, the clinical impact of noncompliance on recurrence severity and mortality are not known. Further prospective work needs to be done to evaluate this apparent quality of care problem in the community.
A follow-up study of pulmonary function in two groups of patients with testicular cancer was performed 6-12 years after treatment. Both groups, 47 patients in each, had undergone retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND). Patients with pathological stage (ps) II had also received bleomycin (median 270 mg) and cisplatin (median 540 mg) in three or four courses which included vinblastine or etoposide. Patients in ps I and II were similar with respect to age, general health, observation period, inspired oxygen fraction (FiO2) and maximal arterial oxygen pressure (pO2) at RPLND, but four (8.2%) with psII disease developed densities on chest X-ray during chemotherapy. At the long-term follow-up the groups were similar with respect to physical exercise, smoking pattern, present drug treatment and history of cardiopulmonary disease. In both groups forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and single breath transfer factor for carbon monoxide (TLCO) were within normal limits, and no difference was found between the groups. The combined data for both groups showed that smoking was highly associated with impairment in TLCO (P = 0.005), and smoking frequency was negatively correlated to TLCO (P = 0.002). We conclude that 3-4 courses with bleomycin, cisplatin and etoposide/vinblastine in testicular cancer patients do not lead to long-term impairment of pulmonary function.
Germ-cell cancer is the most common solid tumor in men aged 15 to 35 years and has become the model for curable neoplasm. Over the last 3 decades, the cure rate has increased from 15% to 85%. This improved cure rate has been largely attributed to the introduction of cisplatin-based chemotherapy. In stage I seminoma and nonseminoma, cure rates approach 100% and treatment is governed by patient choice based on the perceived morbidities of each therapy and personal preferences. For seminoma, treatments include surveillance, radiotherapy, and single course carboplatin. For nonseminoma, treatments include surveillance, retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND), and adjuvant chemotherapy. Low volume (<3 cm) stage II seminoma is typically managed with radiotherapy while higher volume (>3 cm) stage II and stage III disease treated with chemotherapy. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging can differentiate active cancer versus necrosis for postchemotherapy residual masses. PET-positive masses are managed with either surgery or second-line chemotherapy. Low volume (<5 cm) stage II nonseminoma with normal serum tumor markers may be managed with either RPLND or chemotherapy. Patients with persistently elevated serum tumor markers and larger volume stage II and stage III disease are managed with systemic chemotherapy. As with seminoma, good risk patients are typically treated with 3 courses of bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin (BEP) and intermediate and poor risk patients are treated with 4 courses. Residual postchemotherapy masses should be resected due to the uncertainty of the histology with 50% to 60% harboring residual teratoma or active cancer. The majority of patients completing initial therapy who relapse do so within 2 years. A minority of patients (2%–3%) recur after 2 years and this phenomenon is termed late relapse. Excluding chemonaïve patients, late relapse disease is typically managed surgically with 50% being cured of disease. Current therapeutic challenges in testis cancer include the accurate prediction of postchemotherapy histology to avoid surgery in patients harboring fibrosis only, improved therapy in platinum-resistant and platinum-refractory disease, and the understanding of the biology of late relapse.
testicular cancer; self-examination; advanced disease
We report on laparoscopic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) in a morbidly obese patient to discuss the associated technical steps for satisfactory completion of staging lymphadenectomy.
A laparoscopic RPLND was performed using a modified template on the left side. Initially, 4 ports were placed with the patient in the supine position. Three were placed 3 cm to the left of midline and one in the anterior axillary line, at the level of the umbilicus. During the operation, successful bowel retraction necessitated placement of 2 additional ports in the anterior axillary line (just above the pelvis and off the tip of the 12th rib). Using these 6 trocar sites, the dissection was completed, and 44 lymph nodes were obtained.
Laparoscopic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection was accomplished in an extremely obese patient with acceptable morbidity by using prudent modification of standard techniques.
If access and port placement limitations are overcome, the benefits of laparoscopy in the obese are clear. This report serves as a signpost that laparoscopic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for testes cancer can also be accomplished using modification of standard techniques.
Laparoscopy; Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection; Testes cancer
Objectives. Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) outcomes for testis cancer originate mostly from single-center series. We characterized population-based utilization, costs, and outcomes and assessed whether higher volume affects outcomes. Methods and Materials. Using the US Nationwide Inpatient Sample from 2001–2008, we identified 993 RPLND and used propensity score methods to assess utilization, costs, and inpatient outcomes based on hospital surgical volume. Results. 51.6% of RPLND were performed at hospitals where there were two or fewer cases per year. RPLND was more commonly performed at large urban teaching hospitals, where men were younger, more likely to be white and earning incomes exceeding the 50th percentile (all P ≤ .05). Higher hospital volumes were associated with fewer complications and more routine home discharges (all P ≤ .047). However, higher volume hospitals had more transfusions (P = .004) and incurred $1,435 more in median costs (P < .001). Limitations include inability to adjust for tumor characteristics and absence of outpatient outcomes. Conclusions. Sociodemographic differences exist between high versus low volume RPLND hospitals. Although higher volume hospitals had more transfusions and higher costs, perhaps due to more complex cases, they experienced fewer complications. However, most RPLND are performed at hospitals where there were two or fewer cases per year.
Thirty-eight patients with advanced non-seminomatous germ cell tumours (NSGCTs) underwent multiple surgical interventions (two in 33 patients, three in four patients, four in one patient) after cisplatin-based chemotherapy. All patients had normal serum tumour markers but persistent radiographic masses. The larger mass was routinely resected first. Fifteen patients (39%) had dissimilar histological findings at sequential surgical procedures, 12 of whom demonstrated less favourable pathological features during the first operation and three at the second. Patients who underwent both retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) and lung resection showed less favourable histological features in the retroperitoneum in nine cases and in the lung in three cases. Eight of 16 patients (50%) without mature teratoma in their primary tumours showed complete necrosis/fibrosis at all surgical interventions, whereas all patients whose primary tumour was classified as malignant teratoma intermediate demonstrated mature teratoma at least at one anatomical site. As histology of post-chemotherapy residual masses cannot be extrapolated from one anatomical site to another, patients usually are properly managed by excision of all residual masses. In particular, in patients with necrosis/fibrosis at lung resection omission of RPLND is not advised.
Late relapse of a testicular cancer is an uncommon occurrence. We report a case of late relapse of a testicular tumour combined with a renal cancer and their successful removal with retroperitoneoscopy. The 36-year-old patient underwent left orchiectomy, retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, and chemotherapy, because of mixed tumor including teratoma and embryonal carcinoma. 18 years after the successful primary therapy elevated serum alpha-fetoprotein level had been confirmed, then MRI and PET-CT scans demonstrated a 30 mm left renal mass and 22 mm retroperitoneal lymph node above the bifurcation of the left common iliac artery. We performed retroperitoneoscopic lymph node dissection and left renal tumour resection in the same session. The histology revealed embryonal carcinoma for the retroperitoneal lymph node and renal cell carcinoma for the left renal mass. We can conclude that late followup of patients with testicular tumour is important. Retroperitoneoscopy is feasible approach for the removal of retroperitoneal lymph node metastasis and resection of renal tumor.
Salvage chemotherapy has been used by some oncology centres for patients with residual malignant or immature elements in retroperitoneal lymph node dissections removed for metastatic non-seminomatous germ cell tumours. However, surveillance of these patients shows that many are cured by surgery alone. 118 retroperitoneal lymph node dissections for metastatic non-seminomatous germ cell tumours were reviewed and the morphology seen within them was quantified. 28 of these had immature or malignant elements and had been treated by surveillance before administration of further chemotherapy. The proliferation rate in these cases was assessed by immunochemistry. The proliferation index and the amount of embryonal carcinoma (EC) were both predictors of recurrence and therefore the need for further chemotherapy. Patients with greater than 25% of EC had an 84% chance of relapse and those with a Ki-67 index of greater than 50% had a 71% chance of relapse. The two tests had a positive predictive value of 83% and 71%, respectively. Patients with such a high risk of recurrence could be considered for post-operative adjuvant therapy at this point whilst others would be suitable for a watchful waiting approach. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com
embryonal carcinoma; Ki-67; lymph node
Late relapse (LR) of germ cell tumor (GCT) is a well recognized entity associated with poor survival. We report on our experience with LR and determine predictors of survival.
Patients and Methods
From 1990 to 2004, 75 patients were managed for LR of GCT at our institution. Clinical and pathologic parameters were reviewed. Estimates of cancer-specific survival were generated using the Kaplan-Meier method, and a Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess potential predictors of outcome.
The median time to LR was 6.9 years (range, 2.1 to 37.7 years). Overall, 56 patients (75%) had LR in the retroperitoneum, including 25 (93%) of 27 patients initially managed without retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. The 5-year cancer-specific survival (CSS) was 60% (95% CI, 46% to 71%). Patients who underwent complete surgical resection at time of LR (n = 45) had a 5-year CSS of 79% versus 36% for patients without complete resection (n = 30; P < .0001). The 5-year CSS for chemotherapy-naive patients was significantly greater than patients with a prior history of chemotherapy as part of their initial management (5-year CSS, 93% v 49%, respectively). In multivariable analysis of pretreatment parameters available at the time of LR, the presence of symptoms (hazard ratio [HR] = 4.9) and multifocal disease (HR = 3.0) were associated with an inferior CSS.
The data suggest that meticulous control of the retroperitoneum is critical to prevent LR in the retroperitoneum. In multivariable analysis, patients with a symptomatic presentation and those with multifocal disease have a significantly decreased survival. Survival is greatly improved if complete surgical excision of disease is attained.
If a testicular cancer patient has a mass in the retroperitoneum, a metastasis is often the first suspicion, probably leading to improper diagnosis and overtreatment. Here we report a case of retroperitoneal schwannoma mimicking metastatic seminoma. A 29-year-old man, who had a history of seminoma, presented with a single retroperitoneal mass suspected to be a metastasis. Because the patient refused radiotherapy, 3 cycles of cisplatin, etoposide, and bleomycin were offered. Post-chemotherapy computed tomography scan revealed persistence of the retroperitoneal mass, with no change in tumor size or characteristics. Subsequently, retroperitoneal lymph node dissection was performed. The dissected tissue contained negative lymph nodes but a single mass in the attached fat. Pathology revealed retroperitoneal schwannoma, which was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Thus, clinicians should be aware of retroperitoneal schwannoma and its distinction from metastatic seminoma to avoid misdiagnosis and ensure proper treatment.
Retroperitoneal schwannoma; mimic; metastatic seminomatous tumor; retroperitoneal lymph node; retroperitoneal mass
In the North Trent Cancer Network (NTCN) patients requiring retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy for metastatic testicular cancer have been treated by vascular service since 1990. This paper reviews our experience and considers the case for involvement of vascular surgeons in the management of these tumours.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
Patients referred by the NTCN to the vascular service for retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy between 1990 and 2009 were identified through a germ cell database. Data were supplemented by a review of case notes to record histology, intraoperative and postoperative details.
A total of 64 patients were referred to the vascular service for retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, with a median age of 29 years (16–63 years) and a median follow-up of 4.9 years. Ten patients died: eight from tumour recurrence, one from septicaemia during chemotherapy and one by suicide. Of the 54 who survived, 7 were alive with residual masses and 47 patients were disease-free at the last follow-up. Sixteen patients required vascular procedures: four had aortic repair (fascia), three had aortic replacement (spiral graft), four had inferior vena cava resection, two had iliac artery replacement and two had iliac vein resection.
Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection often involves mobilisation and/or the resection/replacement of major vessels. We recommend that a vascular surgeon should be a part of testicular germ cell multidisciplinary team.
Testicular cancer; Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection; Post-chemotherapy; Germ cell tumours
Malignant transformation describes the phenomenon in which a somatic component of a germ cell teratoma undergoes malignant differentiation. A variety of different types of sarcoma and carcinoma, all non-germ cell, have been described as a result of malignant transformation.
A 33-year-old man presented with a left testicular mass and elevated tumour markers. Staging investigations revealed retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy with obstruction of the left ureter and distant metastases. Histopathology from the left radical orchiectomy showed a mixed germ cell tumour (Stage III, poor prognosis). The ureter was stented and four cycles of cisplatin, etoposide and bleomycin chemotherapy administered. After initial remission, the patient recurred four years later with a large retroperitoneal mass involving the renal vessels and the left ureter. Left retroperitoneal lymph node dissection with en-bloc resection of the left kidney was performed.
Histopathology revealed a germ cell tumour metastasis consisting mainly of mature teratoma. Additionally, within the teratoma a papillary renal cell carcinoma was found. The diagnosis was supported by immunohistochemistry showing positivity for AMACR, CD10 and focal expression of RCC and CK7. There was no radiological or histo-pathological evidence of a primary renal cell cancer.
To the best of our knowledge, malignant transformation into a papillary renal cell carcinoma has not been reported in a testicular germ cell tumour metastasis following platinum-based chemotherapy. This histological diagnosis might have implications for potential future therapies. In the case of disease recurrence, renal cell cancer as origin of the recurrent tumour has to be excluded because renal cell carcinoma metastases would not respond well to the classical germ cell tumour chemotherapy regimens.
Retroperitoneal teratoma; Malignant transformation; Germ cell tumour metastasis; Renal cell cancer
The intention was to explore the relationship between fertility and testicular cancer, including the possibly treatment-induced changes over time in the post-diagnostic fertility. Data are from the Norwegian Cancer Registry, The Norwegian Population Register and the Population Censuses. By estimating Poisson regression models, birth rates among testicular cancer patients were compared with those of other men who had the same age, parity and duration since previous birth. Poisson regression models were also estimated to check whether men's parity has an effect on the cancer incidence. Fertility rates among testicular cancer patients born after 1935 and treated before 1991 decreased by roughly 30% when compared with the normal population. The introduction of cisplatin chemotherapy and of nerve-sparing RPLND in the 1980s seems to have enabled more patients with non-seminoma to father a child after treatment, or at least shortened the time to conception. Moreover, the risk of being diagnosed with seminoma is reduced with increasing parity. This suggests that the relatively low fertility after diagnosis may be partly due to the continuing inherent influence of a sub- or infecundity that also had a bearing on the development of the disease. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
fecundity; incidence; infecundity; infertility; parity; treatment
Advanced stage nonseminomatous testis cancer is commonly treated with chemotherapy and surgical resection. Patients with retroperitoneal residual masses >1cm following induction chemotherapy with normalized tumor markers should undergo a post-chemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. Post chemotherapy retroperitoneal residual mass less than 1 cm with normal markers may be considered as complete response, although the possibility of residual teratoma and viable germ cell tumor are not definitively ruled out. Excellent long term disease free survival following surveillance may justify this option as the treatment of choice in this cohort of patients.
chemotherapy; residual mass; testis cancer
The development of sarcomatous component (SC) in testicular germ cell tumor (GCT) is an uncommon phenomenon. We searched our surgical pathology files from 1985 to 2007 and identified 33 cases of testicular GCTs with SC. The average age of patients was 31 years. All patients underwent radical orchiectomy, which demonstrated a GCT in all patients except for 3 patients who had received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. All testicular GCTs contained a teratomatous component. The GCTs were pure teratomas in 3 cases, and were mixed GCTs in the other cases. The SC was observed in primary testicular tumor (n = 19), in metastasis (n = 11), or in both primary testicular tumor and metastasis (n=3). The average percentage of the SC in the primary testicular GCT was 32% (range, 5% to 99%). The most common histologic type of SC was rhabdomyosarcoma (n = 24), followed by high-grade unclassified sarcoma (n = 5), rhabdomyosarcoma admixed with high-grade unclassified sarcoma (n = 2), angiosarcoma (n = 1), and low-grade myxoid sarcoma (n = 1). Clinical follow-up information was available for 27 patients. Of the 13 patients whose SC was limited to the testicular GCT, 2 died of GCT not otherwise specified (NOS) at 37 and 68 months, respectively; and 11 patients were free of disease at a mean of 46 months. Of the 14 patients with a SC in the metastasis, 7 patients died of GCT NOS at a mean of 95 months, and 7 patients were free of disease at a mean of 104 months. These results suggest that patients with a SC confined to the primary testicular GCT may not have a higher risk of mortality than those at a comparable stage without a SC. However, patients with a SC in the metastasis have an increased risk of mortality.
testicular germ cell tumor; sarcomatous component; rhabdomyosarcoma