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1.  Retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy and resection for testicular cancer: an update on best practice 
Therapeutic Advances in Urology  2012;4(4):187-205.
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.
PMCID: PMC3398597  PMID: 22852029
testicular cancer; germ cell tumour; retroperitoneal lymph node dissection; retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy; postchemotherapy RPLND
2.  Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for residual masses after chemotherapy in nonseminomatous germ cell testicular tumor 
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.
PMCID: PMC2991320  PMID: 21062470
3.  Management of good-risk metastatic nonseminomatous germ cell tumors of the testis: Current concepts and controversies 
Approximately 30% of nonseminomatous germ-cell tumors (NSGCT) of the testis present with metastatic disease. In 1997, the International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group (IGCCCG) stratified all patients with metastatic NSGCT into various risk groups based on serum tumor markers and presence of visceral disease. We review the literature and present optimal stage-dependent management strategies in patients with favorable-risk metastatic NSGCT.
Primary chemotherapy (3 cycles BEP or 4 cycles EP) has been shown to be the preferred modality in patients with Clinical Stage IS (cIS) and in patients with bulky metastatic disease (≥CS IIb) due to their high risk of systemic disease and recurrence. Primary retroperitoneal lymph node dissection appears to be the most efficient primary therapy for retroperitoneal disease <2 cm (CS IIa), with adjuvant chemotherapy reserved for patients who are pathologically advanced (>5 nodes involved, single node > 2 cm) and for those who are non-compliant with surveillance regimens. Following primary chemotherapy, STM and radiographic evaluation are used to assess treatment response. For patients with normalization of STM and retroperitoneal masses < 1 cm, retroperitoneal lymph node dissection or observation with treatment at disease progression are considered options. Due to risk of teratoma or chemoresistant GCT, masses >1 cm and extra-retroperitoneal masses should be treated with surgical resection, which should be performed with nerve-sparing, if possible.
In patients with favorable disease based on IGCCCG criteria, clinical stage, STM, and radiographic evaluation are used to guide appropriate therapy to provide excellent long-term cure rates (>92%) in patients with metastatic NSGCT.
PMCID: PMC2878446  PMID: 20535293
Metastatic germ cell cancer; non-seminoma; RPLND; testicular cancer; testis
4.  Anatomical retroperitoneoscopic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for clinical stage I nonseminomatous germ cell tumors: Initial operative experience 
Asian Journal of Andrology  2013;16(1):136-139.
To introduce the technique of anatomical retroperitoneoscopic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (ARRPLND) was performed in 12 consecutive patients with a clinical stage I nonseminomatous germ-cell tumor (NSGCT) between February 2008 and October 2010. All procedures were performed using a modified template nerve-sparing approach. The retroperitoneal space was adequately expanded using double gasbags. After the retroperitoneal fat was cleared, two relatively bloodless planes were entered consecutively to expose the lymph node and permit dissection. Dissection proceeded first in the plane between the anterior renal fascia and posterior peritoneum, and secondly in the avascular plane between the posterior renal fascia and transversalis fascia. The proximal spermatic vein was clipped at the initial stage. En bloc resection of the lymph tissue and fat between the anterior renal fascia and posterior renal fascia were performed. Three patients (25%) had pathologic stage IIA disease and received adjuvant chemotherapy. No recurrence was observed during follow-up ranging from 26 to 58 months. The median operative time was 205 min (range: 165–430 min) and median estimated blood loss was 320 ml (range: 100–1200 ml). There were two intraoperative complications (Clavien grade II) and one open conversion due to perforation of the peritoneum. Postoperative complications (Clavien I) developed in three patients. Normal antegrade ejaculation recovered by 1 month following the operation. Our preliminary results indicate that ARRPLND is technically feasible and associated with satisfactory clinical outcomes for clinical stage I NSGCT. Further studies are necessary to evaluate this technique.
PMCID: PMC3901872  PMID: 24369147
nonseminomatous; retroperitoneoscopic; retroperitoneal lymph node; testicular cancer
5.  Optimal management of testicular cancer: from self-examination to treatment of advanced disease 
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.
PMCID: PMC3818885  PMID: 24198622
testicular cancer; self-examination; advanced disease
6.  Management of the residual post-chemotherapy retroperitoneal mass in germ cell tumors 
Therapeutic Advances in Urology  2009;1(4):199-207.
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.
PMCID: PMC3126061  PMID: 21789067
testes; neoplasm; residual; seminoma; neoplasm; germ cell; retroperitoneal lymph node dissection; post-chemotherapy
7.  Treatment of a Population Based Sample of Men Diagnosed with Testicular Cancer in the United States 
Urologic oncology  2008;27(6):604-610.
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men age 25 to 35 years. We examined therapy, compliance with guidelines, and survival in a population based sample of men newly diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Materials and Methods
We analyzed the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) patterns of care data on 702 men diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1999. These studies supplement routine data collection by verifying therapy with the patients' treating physician. Follow-up for vital status was available through December 31, 2004.
The majority of the men with localized seminoma were diagnosed while their cancer was localized and more than 80% of received orchiectomy with radiation. For men with seminoma and nonseminoma (NSGCT) tumors the percent receiving chemotherapy increased markedly as stage increased. More than 90% of men with regional and distant NSGCT received chemotherapy. Less than 25% of men with localized NSGCT received orchiectomy and retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND), about 40% had surveillance following an orchiectomy alone and the other third received orchiectomy and chemotherapy.
The majority of these patients received therapy consistent with guidelines. While there was no significant difference in the use of RPLND in men with localized NSGCT by geographic region, chemotherapy use varied widely. Over 90% of men with localized or regional disease diagnosed in 1999 were alive at the end of 2004. The excellent survival rates point to the need to monitor for late effects of therapy.
PMCID: PMC2782764  PMID: 18799329
Testicular cancer; treatment; surgery; radiotherapy; guideline adherence
8.  Tuberculosis in postchemotherapy residual masses in germ cell tumor of the testis 
Residual masses following chemotherapy in testicular tumors have been characterized as necrosis, mature or immature teratoma, and malignant tumors. Twenty four patients had retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for postchemotherapy residual masses between January 2000 and December 2008. We report two patients; one with late relapse and other with postchemotherapy residual mass, who had tuberculosis. Tumor markers were normal, and PET scan showed increased uptake in residual mass. There are no previous reports of tuberculosis in postchemotherapy residual masses.
PMCID: PMC3142842  PMID: 21814322
Postchemotherapy; residual mass; tuberculosis
9.  Retroperitoneal Histology of Patients with Elevated Serum Alpha-Fetoprotein and Pure Seminoma at Orchiectomy 
Urology  2011;78(4):844-847.
A histologic diagnosis of seminoma at orchiectomy with an elevation in serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) indicates the likelihood of unrecognized NSGCT elements. We report the retroperitoneal histology of a contemporary series of patients with pure seminoma at orchiectomy with an elevation in serum AFP that were managed as NSGCT.
We identified 22 patients between 1989 and 2009 with pure seminoma diagnosed at orchiectomy with an elevated serum AFP (> 15 ng/ml) either pre- or post-orchiectomy. Retroperitoneal histology and relapse data are reported.
Median pre-orchiectomy and pre-chemotherapy serum AFP levels were 248 ng/ml (IQR 48, 4693) and 279 ng/ml (IQR 66, 5311), respectively. Percentage of patients with clinical stage I, II, and III was 5%, 50%, and 45%, respectively. Percentage of patients with IGCCCG good, intermediate, and poor risk status was 32%, 32%, and 36%, respectively. Twenty-one patients had induction chemotherapy followed by PC-RPLND. Overall, 67% of patients had NSGCT elements in the retroperitoneum. Histologic findings were pure teratoma in 38%, malignant transformation in 14%, and viable NSGCT in 14%. Fifty-nine percent had some component of teratoma in the RP. One patient (5%) had any seminoma in the RP, but this patient also had RP teratoma. Seven patients relapsed and received salvage chemotherapy. Actuarial relapse free survival at 5 and 10 years was 76% and 61% reflecting a high percentage of patients with stage II/III disease.
Pure seminoma at orchiectomy with an elevated serum AFP portends a high likelihood of harboring NSGCT elements in the RP.
PMCID: PMC4237276  PMID: 21782217
testicular cancer; seminoma; AFP; RPLND
10.  Laparoscopic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for stage I and II nonseminomatous germ-cell tumors 
Therapeutic Advances in Urology  2009;1(2):107-114.
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 LRPLND.
PMCID: PMC3126051  PMID: 21789059
testicular cancer; laparoscopic retroperitoneal lymph node dissection
11.  Clinical outcomes in patients with stage I non-seminomatous germ cell cancer 
Asian Journal of Andrology  2013;15(4):558-563.
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.
PMCID: PMC3739228  PMID: 23685909
chemotherapy; clinical stage I non-seminomatous germ cell testicular cancer (CSI NSGCT); outcome; retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND); surveillance; treatment protocols
12.  Current Update of Management of Clinical Stage I Non Seminomatous Germ Cell Tumors of Testis 
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.
PMCID: PMC3392487  PMID: 23730098
Testis cancer; NSGCT stage 1; Surveillance; Chemotherapy; RPLND
13.  Retroperitoneal schwannoma mimicking metastatic seminoma: case report and literature review 
Chinese Journal of Cancer  2013;32(3):149-152.
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.
PMCID: PMC3845595  PMID: 22958743
Retroperitoneal schwannoma; mimic; metastatic seminomatous tumor; retroperitoneal lymph node; retroperitoneal mass
14.  Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for metastatic germ cell tumours 
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 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.
PMCID: PMC3363081  PMID: 21944797
Testicular cancer; Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection; Post-chemotherapy; Germ cell tumours
Urology  2010;77(2):368-372.
Recent observations suggest that surgeon volume is associated with lymph node counts during retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND). We report our contemporary single-surgeon experience with lymph node counts during primary RPLND for nonseminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCT).
Using the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Testis Cancer Database, we identified 124 consecutive patients treated with primary RPLND by a single experienced surgeon for NSGCT between 2004 and 2008. Predictors of positive nodes and number of positive nodes were evaluated with logistic and linear regression models adjusting for year of surgery and clinical stage.
Positive lymph nodes were observed in 37 (30%) while 87 (70%) patients were pN0. Mean total node count was 51 (SD= 23) during the 5 year study period. Mean node counts for the paracaval, interaortocaval, and paraaortic regions were 8 (SD= 6), 17 (SD= 9), and 26 (SD= 15), respectively. In a multivariate analysis, higher total node count was significantly associated with finding positive nodes (odds ratio 1.02 for each additional node counted; p=0.037) and finding multiple positive nodes (coefficient 0.04 for each additional node counted; p=0.004). Year of surgery (p<0.001) was associated with higher total node counts, while clinical stage and pathologist were not (p>0.5 for each).
The average total node count for a primary RPLND by an experienced surgeon is approximately 50 nodes with nearly half of the nodes originating in the paraaortic region. These results will be useful when assessing the adequacy of lymph node dissections for testis, renal, and upper tract urothelial malignancies.
PMCID: PMC4012337  PMID: 21109294
Testicular neoplasms; Lymph node excision; Neoplasm staging; Retroperitoneal space; Lymph nodes
Urology  2011;79(2):361-364.
Lymph node counts are a proposed measure of quality assurance for numerous malignancies. Investigation of patient factors associated with lymph node counts are lacking. We sought to determine if body mass index (BMI) is associated with lymph node counts in patients treated with a primary retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND).
Using the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Testis Cancer Database, we identified 255 patients treated with a primary RPLND for nonseminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCT) from 1999–2008. The associations between BMI and node counts were evaluated using linear regression models in univariate and multivariable models adjusting for features reported to predict higher node counts (year of surgery, stage, and surgeon volume).
Median BMI (IQR) was 26.1 (23.4 – 28.7) and median (IQR) total node count was 38 (27–53). Median total node count for patients with a BMI <25, 25–<30, and >30 was 35, 42, and 44 nodes, respectively. In a univariate analysis, higher BMI was significantly associated with higher total node counts (coefficient 0.7 nodes for each 1 unit increase in BMI; p=0.026). Features associated with higher node count on multivariate analysis included high volume surgeon (p=0.047), pathologic stage (p=0.017), more recent year of surgery (p<0.001), and higher BMI (p=0.009).
Our results suggest for the first time that BMI is independently associated with higher lymph node counts during a lymph node dissection. If confirmed by others, these results may be important when using lymph node counts as a surrogate for adequacy of a lymph node dissection.
PMCID: PMC4170790  PMID: 22173172
Testicular neoplasms; Lymph nodes; Lymph node excision; Neoplasm staging; Body mass index
17.  Management consideration in nonpulmonary visceral metastatic seminoma of testis. 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  1999;14(4):431-437.
To develop a more appropriate therapeutic strategy for treatment of nonpulmonary visceral metastatic testicular seminoma based on the International Germ Cell Consensus Classification, we reviewed the medical records of patients with nonpulmonary visceral metastatic testicular seminoma who were treated over a 20-year period. Only 15 (2.2%) of the 686 cases of testicular seminoma were nonpulmonary visceral metastatic seminoma. The median age of patients was 38 years (range, 22-53 years). Ten (67%) of the patients had an initial diagnosis of supradiaphragmatic or visceral metastatic disease. In addition to nonpulmonary visceral metastasis, all patients had lymph node metastasis as well, the majority of which involved the retroperitoneal lymph nodes. The median and mean progression-free survival durations after chemotherapy for advanced disease were 19 months and 63.7 months, respectively. Six patients (40%) survived, five relapsed after radiation therapy and four died of chemorefractory disease not dependent on the specific regimen. Although the number of cases reviewed in this study was small, we conclude that the choice of chemotherapeutic regimen among the current treatments for nonpulmonary visceral metastatic seminoma of testis primary does not present a different outcome. Therefore, multimodality therapies using new strategies or new agents are well indicated.
PMCID: PMC3054405  PMID: 10485624
18.  Experiences of pretreatment laparoscopic surgical staging in patients with locally advanced cervical cancer: results of a prospective study 
Journal of Gynecologic Oncology  2008;19(2):123-128.
To prospectively evaluate the feasibility, safety, and survival of laparoscopic surgical staging in patients with locally advanced cervical cancer.
From Oct 2001 to Jul 2006, a total of 83 consecutive patients were eligible for inclusion and underwent laparoscopic surgical staging.
Three patients with intraoperative great vessel injury and 1 patient in whom the colpotomizer was unable to be inserted were excluded. Laparoscopic surgical staging was feasible in 95.2% (79/83). Immediate postoperative complications were noted in 12 (15.2%) patients. Prolonged complications directly related to operative procedures numbered 2 (2.5%), and were trocar site metastases. The mean time from surgery to the start of radiotherapy (RT) or concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) was 11 (5-35) days. All patients tolerated the treatment well and completed scheduled RT or CCRT without disruption of treatment and additional admission. The rate of modification of the radiation field after surgical staging was 8.9% (7/79). Five-year progression-free survival and overall survival (OS) rates were 79% and 89%, respectively. The OS of patients with microscopic lymph node metastases, which were fully resected, were comparable to those of patients without lymph node metastasis. However, the OS of patients with macroscopic lymph node metastases that were fully resected were poorer compared with those of patients without lymph node metastasis.
Pretreatment laparoscopic surgical staging is a feasible and safe treatment modality. However the survival benefit of debulking lymph nodes or full lymph node dissection is not clear.
PMCID: PMC2676459  PMID: 19471562
Cervical cancer; Laparoscopic surgical staging; Lymph nodes
19.  Surgical Outcomes of Robotic Radical Hysterectomy Using Three Robotic Arms versus Conventional Multiport Laparoscopy in Patients with Cervical Cancer 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2014;55(5):1222-1230.
To compare surgical outcomes of robotic radical hysterectomy (RRH) using 3 robotic arms with those of conventional laparoscopy in patients with early cervical cancer.
Materials and Methods
A retrospective cohort study included 102 patients with stage 1A1-IIA2 cervical carcinoma, of whom 60 underwent robotic and 42 underwent laparoscopic radical hysterectomy (LRH) with pelvic lymph node dissection performed between December 2009 and May 2013. Perioperative outcomes were compared between two surgical groups.
Robotic approach consisted of 3 robotic arms including the camera arm and 1 conventional assistant port. Laparoscopic approach consisted of four trocar insertions with conventional instruments. There were no conversions to laparotomy. Mean age, body mass index, tumor size, cell type, and clinical stage were not significantly different between two cohorts. RRH showed favorable outcomes over LRH in terms of estimated blood loss (100 mL vs. 145 mL, p=0.037), early postoperative complication rates (16.7% vs. 30.9%, p=0.028), and postoperative complications necessitating intervention by Clavien-Dindo classification. Total operative time (200.5±61.1 minutes vs. 215.6±83.1 minutes, p=0.319), mean number of lymph node yield (23.3±9.3 vs. 21.7±9.8, p=0.248), and median length of postoperative hospital stay (11 days vs. 10 days, p=0.129) were comparable between robotic and laparoscopic group, respectively. The median follow-up time was 44 months with 2 recurrences in the robotic and 3 in the laparoscopic cohort.
Surgical outcomes of RRH and pelvic lymphadenectomy were comparable to that of laparoscopic approach, with significantly less blood loss and early postoperative complications.
PMCID: PMC4108805  PMID: 25048478
Cervical cancer; laparoscopy; robotics
Cancer  2010;116(22):5243-5250.
Lymph node counts are a measure of quality assurance and are associated with prognosis for numerous malignancies. To date, investigations of lymph node counts in testis cancer are lacking.
Using the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Testis Cancer Database, we identified 255 patients treated with primary retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) for nonseminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCT) between 1999 and 2008. Features associated with node counts, positive nodes, number of positive nodes, and risk of positive contralateral nodes were evaluated with regression models.
Median (IQR) total node count was 38 (27–53) and was 48 (34 – 61) during the most recent 5 years. Features associated with higher node count on multivariate analysis included high volume surgeon (p=0.034), clinical stage (p=0.036), and more recent year of surgery (p<0.001) while pathologist was not significantly associated with node count (p=0.3). Clinical stage (p<0.001) and total node count (p=0.045) were significantly associated with finding positive nodes on multivariate analysis. The probability of finding positive nodes were 23%, 23%, 31%, and 48% if the total node count was <21, 21 – 40, 41 – 60, and >60, respectively. With a median follow-up of 3.0 years all patients were still alive and 16 patients relapsed while no patient relapsed in the paracaval, interaortocaval, paraaortic, or iliac regions.
Our results suggest that >40 lymph nodes removed at RPLND improves the diagnostic efficacy of the operation. These results will be useful for future trials comparing RPLND, especially when assessing the adequacy of lymph node dissection.
PMCID: PMC4174298  PMID: 20665486
Testicular neoplasms; Lymph nodes; Lymph node excision; Neoplasm staging
21.  Predicting necrosis in residual mass analysis after retroperitoneal lymph node dissection: a retrospective study 
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.
PMCID: PMC3502267  PMID: 23021209
Testicular cancer; Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection; Necrosis; Teratoma
22.  Is laparoscopic colorectal cancer surgery associated with an increased risk in obese patients? A retrospective study from China 
The impact of obesity on surgical outcomes after laparoscopic colorectal cancer resection in Chinese patients is still unclear.
We retrospectively reviewed the prospectively collected data from 527 consecutive colorectal cancer patients who under went laparoscopic resection from January 2008 to September 2013. Patients were categorized into three groups: nonobese (body mass index (BMI) <25.0 kg/m2), obese I (BMI 25.0 = to 29.9 kg/m2) and obese II (BMI ≥30.0 kg/m2). Clinical characteristics, surgical outcomes and postoperative complications were compared between nonobese, obese I and obese II patients.
From among the 527 patients, there were 371 patients with in the nonobese group, 142 patients in the obese I group and 14 patients in the obese II group. The patients were well-matched for age, sex and American Society of Anesthesiologists class, except for BMI (P = 0.001). The median operative time correlated highly significantly with increasing weight (median: nonobese = 135 minutes, obese I = 145 minutes, obese II = 162.5 minutes; P = 0.001). There appeared to be a slight tendency toward grade III complications (rated according to the Clavien-Dindo Classification of Surgical Complications) in the obese II group, but this difference was not significant (nonobese = 5.1%, obese I = 3.5% and obese II = 14.3%; P = 0.178). None of the grade III complications which occurred in the obese II group were wound dehiscences that required a stitch. Other aspects, such as estimated blood loss, harvested lymph nodes, operation type, pathological results, conversion rate and overall postoperative complications, were not statistically significant.
With sufficient experience, laparoscopic colorectal cancer surgery is feasible and safe in obese Chinese patients.
PMCID: PMC4063688  PMID: 24919472
Complication grading system; Laparoscopic colorectomy; Obesity patients
23.  Sequential bilateral testicular tumours presenting with intervals of 20 years and more 
BMC Urology  2013;13:71.
About 3 – 5% of all patients with testicular germ cell tumour (GCT) develop a contralateral cancer, the majority of which arise within 10–15 years. Little is known about the risk of second GCTs after more than two decades. Here we present 3 cases with very late presenting contralateral GCT and provide a summary of similar cases reported previously.
Case presentations
(1) This white Caucasian man underwent right-sided orchiectomy for a nonseminomatous GCT at the age of 22 years. Additional treatment consisted of retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) and chemotherapy with 4 cycles of vinblastin / bleomycin. 36 years later, contralateral seminoma clinical stage 1 developed. Cure was achieved by orchiectomy. Histologically, testicular intraepithelial neoplasia (TIN; intratubular germ cell neoplasia) was detected in the tumour-surrounding tissue.
(2) This white Caucasian male had right-sided orchiectomy for nonseminomatous GCT at the age of 29 years. Pathological stage 1 was confirmed by RPLND. 25 years later, he received left sided orchiectomy for seminoma stage 1. Histologically, TIN was found in the tissue adjacent to seminoma. Two brothers had testicular GCT, too, one with bilateral GCT. (3) This 21 year old white Caucasian man underwent left-sided orchiectomy for nonseminomatous GCT. Pathological stage 1 was confirmed by RPLND. 21 years later, he received organ-preserving excision of a right-sided seminoma, followed by BEP chemotherapy for stage 3 disease. Histologically, TIN was found in the surrounding testicular tissue.
22 cases of bilateral GCT with intervals of 20 or more years have previously been reported, thereof three with intervals of more than 30 years, the longest interval being 40 years.
Apart from increased risks of cardiovascular diseases and non-testicular malignancies, patients with GCT face the specific probability of a second GCT in the long run. This risk persists life-long and is not eliminated by chemotherapy. Contralateral testicular biopsy can identify patients at risk by revealing precursor cells of GCT though false-negative biopsies may occur sporadically. However, in view of the multi-facetted late hazards of GCT patients, this minor surgical procedure might somewhat simplify the long-time care of these patients.
PMCID: PMC4028980  PMID: 24321309
Testicular germ cell neoplasms; Bilateral tumours; Testicular biopsy; Seminoma; Familial germ cell tumours
24.  Subtotal gastrectomy for gastric cancer 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(38):13667-13680.
Although a steady decline in the incidence and mortality rates of gastric carcinoma has been observed in the last century worldwide, the absolute number of new cases/year is increasing because of the aging of the population. So far, surgical resection with curative intent has been the only treatment providing hope for cure; therefore, gastric cancer surgery has become a specialized field in digestive surgery. Gastrectomy with lymph node (LN) dissection for cancer patients remains a challenging procedure which requires skilled, well-trained surgeons who are very familiar with the fast-evolving oncological principles of gastric cancer surgery. As a matter of fact, the extent of gastric resection and LN dissection depends on the size of the disease and gastric cancer surgery has become a patient and “disease-tailored” surgery, ranging from endoscopic resection to laparoscopic assisted gastrectomy and conventional extended multivisceral resections. LN metastases are the most important prognostic factor in patients that undergo curative resection. LN dissection remains the most challenging part of the operation due to the location of LN stations around major retroperitoneal vessels and adjacent organs, which are not routinely included in the resected specimen and need to be preserved in order to avoid dangerous intra- and postoperative complications. Hence, the surgeon is the most important non-TMN prognostic factor in gastric cancer. Subtotal gastrectomy is the treatment of choice for middle and distal-third gastric cancer as it provides similar survival rates and better functional outcome compared to total gastrectomy, especially in early-stage disease with favorable prognosis. Nonetheless, the resection range for middle-third gastric cancer cases and the extent of LN dissection at early stages remains controversial. Due to the necessity of a more extended procedure at advanced stages and the trend for more conservative treatments in early gastric cancer, the indication for conventional subtotal gastrectomy depends on multiple variables. This review aims to clarify and define the actual landmarks of this procedure and the role it plays compared to the whole range of new and old treatment methods.
PMCID: PMC4194551  PMID: 25320505
Gastric cancer; Gastrectomy; Lymphadenectomy; Laparoscopy; Endoscopy; Quality of life; Gastric stump cancer
25.  Mixed germ cell tumor of the testicle with ravdomuosarcomatous component: a case report 
Cases Journal  2009;2:9299.
Testicular tumors can be classified as seminomatous and non-seminomatous germ-cell tumor (NSGCT) types. Mixed germ cell tumors contain more than one germ cell component and are much more common than any of the pure histologic forms representing 32%-60% of all germ cell tumors. The composition of these tumors varies. Here we present a rare case of a mixed germ cell tumor composed of seminoma, Yolk sack tumor and teratoma containing a sarcoma component of somatic type malignancy.
Case presentation
A 32-year-old Caucasian male presented with history of right-sided scrotal swelling since 6 months. Backache was present since 2 months and a history of right epididimitis was also present since 8 months. Alpha-Fetoprotein, beta-HCG and LDH values were found abmormal. USG of the scrotum revealed a large right testis swelling characterized by scarce cystic elements and calcifications. CT scan of the abdomen showed nodular metastasis involving the interaortocaval, precaval, and right para-aortic lymph nodes. The block of enlarged lymph nodes infiltrated the psoas muscle. The patient underwent right-sided high orchidectomy and was given chemotherapy of the BEP regimen. After the 2nd cycle the patient discontinued the chemotherapy and when he came for follow-up after a gap of 3 months, despite the normalisation in tumor markers values, the retroperitoneal mass was relapsed. CT scan of the chest showed multiple lung metastases.
More than 50% of germ-cell tumors include more than 2 basic germ-cell tumor types, with the exception of spermatocytic seminoma. About 90% of the patients with nonseminomatous tumors can achieve complete cure with aggressive chemotherapy and most of them can be cured. Although prognosis of testicular tumors depends largely on clinical stage, histological type and adhesion to the treatment influence the prognosis as well.
PMCID: PMC2803963  PMID: 20062623

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