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.
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
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
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.
Postchemotherapy; residual mass; tuberculosis
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.
Metastatic germ cell cancer; non-seminoma; RPLND; testicular cancer; testis
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
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
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
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.
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
Testicular cancer is the most common malignancy in young men with seminomas comprising almost half of all germ cell tumours. Benign ganglioneuromas are rare tumours derived from the sympathetic nervous system. They usually occur in aldolescents and young adults and are predominantly located in the mediastinum and retroperitoneum. We report a case of a patient with synchronous metastatic testicular seminoma with retroperitoneal lymph node involvement and a benign retroperitoneal ganglioneuroma (RGN) which caused diagnostic and management challenges. The patient had a complete response following combination chemotherapy for his seminoma and subsequently underwent complete resection of his ganglioneuroma.
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
Most malignant testicular neoplasms are of germ cell origin. They are divided into five basic types: seminomas, embryonal carcinomas, teratocarcinomas, adult teratomas and choriocarcinomas. Clinically they may present as an enlarging testicular mass, or with symptoms resulting from metastases or hormonal secretions. The treatment of choice for patients with seminomas is orchiectomy, followed by radiation therapy. This combination results in an 80 to 100 percent five-year survival rate in patients with nonmetastatic or locally metastatic disease. The treatment of nonseminomatous germ cell tumors is more controversial. An aggressive approach, however, with retroperitoneal lymph node dissection and adjuvant chemotherapy has resulted in an overall 78 percent survival rate. Several placental and fetal proteins are secreted by these tumors. Two of these, human chorionic gonadotropin and alpha-fetoprotein, have been shown to be useful for the diagnosis of these neoplasms, for following the disease activity during therapy and for detection of recurrences.
A small number of testicular germ cell tumours are refractory to current chemotherapy regimens. DNA topoisomerase I is the target for several new drugs and a potential candidate treatment for chemorefractory germ cell tumours. DNA topoisomerase IIα is the target for etoposide, which is currently used regularly in germ cell tumour treatment. The expression of DNA topoisomerase I and IIα were therefore assessed immunohistochemically in a range of testicular tumours, especially those with persistent malignant elements on retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. Pre-chemotherapy orchidectomy specimens were matched with post-chemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissections to examine changes in expression. There was considerable variation in the expression of topoisomerase I in different tumour types. Both yolk sac tumours and teratoma, mature showed universal expression of topoisomerase I, while 38% of seminomas and 30% of embryonal carcinomas were positive. Strong topoisomerase IIα expression was found in embryonal carcinoma. There was a negative correlation between topoisomerase I and IIα expression (P=0.004) and downregulation of topoisomerase IIα after chemotherapy (P=0.02). Topoisomerase I expression appears to increase in those cases with residual teratoma, mature, but is largely unchanged in those cases remaining as embryonal carcinoma. These results suggest that topoisomerase I inhibitors may be useful in chemorefractory germ cell tumours, especially yolk sac tumours and where there are unresectable residual teratoma, mature deposits.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 21, 624–629. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600472 www.bjcancer.com
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
topoisomerase; germ cell tumour; testis; embryonal carcinoma; seminoma; Ki-67
We analysed the introduction of the robot-assisted laparoscopic radical hysterectomy in patients with early-stage cervical cancer with respect to patient benefits and surgeon-related aspects of a surgical learning curve. A retrospective review of the first 14 robot-assisted laparoscopic radical hysterectomies and the last 14 open radical hysterectomies in a similar clinical setting with the same surgical team was conducted. Patients were candidates for a laparoscopic sentinel node procedure, pelvic lymph node dissection and open radical hysterectomy (RH) before August 2006 and were candidates for a laparoscopic sentinel node procedure, pelvic lymph node dissection and robot-assisted laparoscopic radical hysterectomy (RALRH) after August 2006. Overall, blood loss in the open cases was significantly more compared with the robot cases. Median hospital stay after RALRH was 5 days less than after RH. The median theatre time in the learning period for the robot procedure was reduced from 9 h to less that 4 h and compared well to the 3 h and 45 min for an open procedure. Three complications occurred in the open group and one in the robot group. RALRH is feasible and of benefit to the patient with early stage cervical cancer by a reduction of blood loss and reduced hospital stay. Introduction of this new technique requires a learning curve of less than 15 cases that will reduce the operating time to a level comparable to open surgery.
Robotic surgery; da Vinci; Radical hysterectomy; Learning curve
The results of treatment for patients with seminoma of the testis by orchidectomy and irradiation are so satisfactory that retroperitoneal lymph node dissection is no longer practised. However, this operation is still used routinely in some centres for patients with testicular teratomas despite the lack of evidence that it gives better results than those obtained with irradiation followed by removal of lymphographically demonstrable residual tumour and in the face of the high incidence of ejaculatory impotence which follows. On grounds of preservation of sexual function and fertility there is a great advantage to be gained from the latter form of treatment. Thirty-four of our patients between the ages of 25 and 45 years treated by irradiation to the para-aortic and iliac nodes for testicular tumours fathered 52 children to term after their treatment.
We analysed 973 patients with stage I testicular tumours presenting between 1983 and 1994. The median ages at presentation for non-seminomatous germ cell tumour (teratoma) were 27 years, seminoma 36 years and combined tumour 33 years. These differences were statistically significant (Mann-Whitney P < 0.05), suggesting that combined tumours may have a separate natural history. We, therefore, analysed all stage I patients managed with surveillance (530 in total) post orchidectomy. The actuarial 5 year relapse-free survival and anatomical patterns of relapse were identical for non-seminomatous germ cell tumour (NSGCT) and combined tumour and both were statistically distinct from seminoma (P = 0.01, log-rank test, chi-square test P = 0.001). The association of seminoma within a histologically confirmed NSGCT has no influence on the clinical outcome.
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
To explore the feasibility of laparoscopic spleen-preserving No. 10 lymph node dissection in a left-sided approach for advanced proximal gastric cancer.
The clinical data of 32 patients with advanced proximal gastric cancer who underwent laparoscopic spleen-preserving No. 10 lymph node dissection from June 2010 to December 2011 were analyzed.
Laparoscopic spleen-preserving No. 10 lymph node dissection using a left-sided approach was successfully performed for all patients without open conversion. The mean operation time was 206.4±54.3 minutes, mean intraoperative blood loss was 68.2±34.1 ml, mean number of No. 10 lymph nodes dissected was 2.8±2.1, mean number of positive No. 10 lymph nodes was 0.6±1.2, and the incidence of No. 10 lymph node metastasis was 11.6%. The mean postoperative hospital stay was 11.3±1.5 days. The postoperative morbidity rate was 9.4%, and there was no postoperative death. Splenic lobar vessels of all 32 patients were anatomically classified and divided into three types: 4 patients had a single lobar vessel, 22 had two lobar vessels and 6 had three lobar vessels.
Laparoscopic spleen-preserving No. 10 lymph node dissection for advanced proximal gastric cancer using a left-sided approach is technically feasible. It simplifies the complicated surgical procedure of No. 10 lymph node dissection and leads to the popularization and promotion of this technique.
Stomach neoplasms; Spleen-preservation; Laparoscopy; Lymph node dissection
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.
Background. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men 15 to 35 years old. Histological subtypes are seminoma, non-seminoma and mixed tumours (partly seminoma and partly non-seminoma). Seminomas are more sensitive to radiation therapy and are easier to cure than non-seminomas. The surgical treatment is either orchiectomy, either orchiectomy plus lymph node dissection of the involved ganglia.
Case presentation. We present the case of a 42-year-old man with scrotal pain, important swelling and erythema admitted into our surgical unit. Clinical exam and ultrasound revealed a testicular augmentation of 6/15 cm. Radical orchiectomy was performed and the patient was further referred to the oncology department.
Conclusions. Even though the common causes of scrotal erythema with local swelling and pain are orchiepididimitis and testicular torsion, a careful examination followed by a precise ultrasound can reveal a developing testicular tumor, which was complicated by inflammation. Moreover, a careful anamnesis hints to the development of a tumor as the patient was operated on for cryptorchidism in childhood. Orchiectomy followed by radiotherapy in seminomas, has a cure rate of 70 to 100%.
seminoma; orchiectomy; acute scrotum
Aspects of sexuality were assessed by questionnaires in 76 testicular cancer patients after orchiectomy before further treatment and, respectively, 6, 12 and 36 months after therapy. Before treatment 11% of the patients reported dissatisfaction with sexual life. About 20% of the patients sometimes experienced reduced libido and erectile difficulties. Six months after therapy significantly more patients (27%) recorded an unsatisfactory sexual life as compared to the pretreatment situation. At the 36 months' evaluation 22 of 76 evaluable patients (18%) still stated that their sexual life was inferior to the pretreatment experience. Libido and erectile function decreased transiently during the first year after treatment in most patients. Twelve patients reported permanent 'dry ejaculation' after bilateral retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. Other sexual disturbances could not be related to specified treatment modalities. Increased age at the time of diagnosis and psychological distress tended to correlate with the incidence of sexual problems. For about 60% of the patients the discussion of expected and experienced sexual life problems was an important issue to be discussed before their treatment for testicular cancer and during follow-up. The high frequency of any kind of long-lasting sexual problems (30%), though often of minor degree, warrants an adequate counselling of these patients before and after treatment.
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.
Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair reportedly yields lower postoperative complications than open repair. We hypothesized that patients undergoing laparoscopic repair would have lower postoperative infectious outcomes. Also, certain preoperative patient characteristics and preoperative hernia characteristics are hypothesized to increase complication risk in both groups. All ventral hernia repairs performed at University of Virginia from January 2004 to January 2006 were reviewed. Primary outcomes included wound healing complications and hernia recurrence. Categorical data were analyzed with χ2 and Fisher’s exact tests. Continuous variables were evaluated with independent t tests and Mann-Whitney U tests. Multivariable logistic regression was performed. A total of 268 repairs (110 open, 158 laparoscopic) were evaluated. Patient and hernia characteristics were similar between groups, though the percents of wound contamination (5.4% vs 0.6%; P = 0.02) and simultaneous surgery (7.2% vs 0%; P = 0.001) were greater in the open procedures. Univariate analysis also revealed that open cases had a greater incidence of postoperative superficial surgical site infection (SSI) (30.0% vs 10.7%; P < 0.0001). Multivariable analysis revealed that both diabetes and open repair were associated with an increased risk of superficial SSI (P = 0.019; odds ratio = 3.512; 95% confidence interval = 1.229–10.037 and P = 0.001; odds ratio = 4.6; 95% confidence interval = 1.9–11.2, respectively). Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair yielded lower rates of postoperative superficial SSI than open surgery. Other pre-operative patient characteristics and preoperative hernia characteristics, with the exception of diabetes, were not found to be associated with an increased risk of postoperative complications.