Long-Term Oncologic Outcomes after Primary Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection: Minimizing the Need for Adjuvant Chemotherapy

Antoin Douglawi, Adam Calaway, Isamu Tachibana, Marcelo Panizzutti Barboza, Ryan Speir, Timothy Masterson, Nabil Adra, Richard Foster, Lawrence Einhorn, Clint Cary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


PURPOSE: We analyzed the oncologic outcomes of men undergoing primary retroperitoneal lymph node dissection and characterized the use of adjuvant chemotherapy and template dissections. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Retrospective review of the Indiana University testis cancer database identified patients who underwent primary retroperitoneal lymph node dissection between January 2007 and December 2017. Patients and providers were contacted to obtain information regarding adjuvant therapy, recurrence and survival. The primary outcome was recurrence-free survival. Kaplan-Meier curves assessed survival differences stratified by pathological stage, template of dissection and use of adjuvant chemotherapy. RESULTS: A total of 274 patients were included in the study. Most men presented with clinical stage I disease (214, 78%). A modified unilateral template was performed in 257 (94%) and bilateral template in 17 (6%). Overall 148 (54%) and 126 (46%) men had pathological stage (PS) I and PS-II disease, respectively. Thirteen patients (10%) with PS-II disease were treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. With a median followup of 55 months only 33 (12%) patients had recurrence. Of the 113 patients with PS-II disease who did not receive chemotherapy 21 (19%) had disease relapse and 81% were cured with surgery alone and never had recurrence. No difference in recurrence-free survival was noted between modified and bilateral template dissections. CONCLUSIONS: The use of adjuvant chemotherapy has been minimal during the last decade. The majority (81%) of men with PS-II disease were cured with retroperitoneal lymph node dissection alone and were able to avoid chemotherapy. Modified unilateral template dissection provided excellent oncologic control while minimizing morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-103
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • adjuvant
  • chemotherapy
  • lymph node excision
  • testicular neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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