Outcome analysis for patients with persistent nonteratomatous germ cell tumor in postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissections

Edward P. Fox, Tess D. Weathers, Stephen D. Williams, Patrick J. Loehrer, Thomas M. Ulbright, John P. Donohue, Lawrence H. Einhorn

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Purpose: We review the long-term outcome of patients with viable nonteratomatous germ cell tumor (NTGCT) in retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) specimens after primary or salvage chemotherapy, and the impact of postoperative therapy with two courses of standard-dose cisplatin-based induction chemotherapy. Patients and Methods: All patients with viable NTGCT in postchemotherapy RPLND specimens from surgeries performed at Indiana University between July 1975 and March 1991 were retrospectively reviewed. Results: Of 580 postchemotherapy RPLNDs performed, 133 had viable NTGCT in their pathology specimens. Of these 580 postchemotherapy RPLNDs, 417 were performed after primary chemotherapy, and 43 (10%) had viable NTGCT in their pathology specimens. There were 163 RPLNDs performed after salvage chemotherapy and 90 (55%) had viable NTGCT in their pathology specimens. After primary chemotherapy, 34 of 43 had complete resections, and 27 of the 34 received postoperative cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Nineteen of 27 (70%) are continuously disease-free (c-NED). All seven who received no postoperative chemotherapy have relapsed. After salvage chemotherapy, 53 of 90 had complete resections. Of those 53, 25 received postoperative chemotherapy, and nine (36%) are c-NED. Twenty-eight received no postoperative chemotherapy, and 12 (43%) are c-NED. Overall, 43 of 133 patients had incomplete resections, and only four are currently disease-free. There were four postoperative deaths (PODs). Conclusion: (1) Incomplete resection of viable NTGCT after primary or salvage chemotherapy portends a very poor prognosis. (2) For patients with complete resection of viable NTGCT following primary chemotherapy, two additional courses of cisplatin-based chemotherapy appear to be safe and effective therapy for reducing the risk of relapse. (3) Additional standard-dose chemotherapy appears to offer no benefit to patients with viable NTGCT in the resected specimen after salvage chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1294-1299
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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