Background: To assess the outcome of surgical resection in patients with primary mediastinal nonseminomatous germ-cell tumors (PMNSGCT) with rising serum tumor markers (STM) following standard platinum-based chemotherapy. Patients and methods: A total of 158 consecutive patients with PMNSGCT who received platinum-based chemotherapy followed by complete surgical extirpation of residual disease at Indiana University from 1982 to 2007 were retrospectively reviewed. Thirty-five of these 158 patients had rising STM at time of resection. Results: Thirty-five patients (34 males and 1 female) comprise the basis of this report. Three patients had rising human chorionic gonadotropin, and the remaining 32 patients had rising alpha-fetoprotein at the time of thoracic surgery. Twenty-four of the 35 (69%) pathologically demonstrated viable germ-cell tumor, while 8 patients had teratoma and 3 patients had necrosis only at time of resection, despite the presence of rising STM. Twenty-seven patients normalized their tumor markers postoperatively. Twenty-one of 35 died, 5 were lost to follow-up, and 9 are alive. Of the nine patients alive, seven are continuously disease free with median follow-up of 64 months (range 25-220 months). Conclusion: The presence of rising STM doesn't preclude successful therapy with surgical resection, especially if carried out by experienced thoracic surgical oncologists.
- Primary mediastinal nonseminomatous germ-cell tumors
- Tumor markers
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