Purpose: Controversy arises regarding the optimal management of patients with nonseminomatous germ cell tumor (NSGCT) who achieve a serologic and radiographic complete remission (CR) to systemic chemotherapy. Some authors recommend postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (PC-RPLND), whereas others omit surgery and observe these patients. In an attempt to address this question, we report the long-term follow-up of patients treated at Indiana University who were observed without PC-RPLND. Patients and Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of patients with NSGCT who achieved a CR to first-line chemotherapy and were monitored without further therapy. CR was defined as normalization of serum tumor markers and resolution of radiographic disease (residual mass < 1 cm). Results: One hundred forty-one patients were identified. Five patients (4%) had less than 2 years of follow-up. After a median follow-up of 15.5 years, 12 patients (9%) experienced relapse. Of these 12 patients, eight patients currently have no evidence of disease (NED), and four patients died of disease. The estimated 15-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) and cancer-specific survival rates were 90% and 97%, respectively. The estimated 15-year RFS for good-risk patients (n = 109) versus intermediate- or poor-risk patients (n = 32) was 95% and 73% (P = .001), respectively. Six patients (4%) experienced recurrence in the retroperitoneum, of whom two patients died of disease. Five patients had late relapse (range, 3 to 13 years), including two patients in the retroperitoneum. All five patients currently have NED. Conclusion: Patients obtaining a CR after first-line chemotherapy can be safely observed without PC-RPLND. Relapses are rare and potentially curable with further treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research