Outcomes following surgery for primary mediastinal nonseminomatous germ cell tumors in the cisplatin era

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4 Scopus citations


Objective: Treatment of primary mediastinal nonseminomatous germ cell tumors involves cisplatin-based chemotherapy followed by surgery to remove residual disease. We undertook a study to determine short and long-term outcomes. Methods: A retrospective analysis of patients with primary mediastinal nonseminomatous germ cell tumors who underwent surgery at our institution from 1982 to 2017 was performed. Results: A total of 255 patients (mean age, 29.2 years) were identified. Acute respiratory distress syndrome occurred postoperatively in 27 patients (10.9%), which was responsible for all 11 (4.3%) postoperative deaths. Of patients who developed acute respiratory distress syndrome, more patients received bleomycin-containing chemotherapy (25 out of 169; 14.8%) than non-bleomycin regimens (2 out of 77; 2.6%) (P = .004). With respect to variables independently predictive of long-term survival, evidence of choriocarcinoma before chemotherapy (n = 12) was determined to be an adverse factor (P = .006). In contrast, biopsy-proven elements of seminoma (n = 34) were predictive of improved survival (P = .04). The worst pathology identified in the residual mediastinal mass after chemotherapy was necrosis in 61 patients (25.0%), teratoma in 84 patients (34.4%), and malignant (persistent germ cell or non–germ cell cancer) in 97 patients (39.8%), which influenced overall survival (P < .001). Additionally, teratoma with stromal atypia (n = 18) demonstrated decreased survival compared with teratoma without atypia (n = 66; P = .031). Patients with malignancy involving >50% of the residual mass (n = 47) had a 2.3-fold increased risk of death compared with ≤50% malignancy (n = 45; P = .008). Finally, elevated postoperative serum tumor markers (n = 40) was significantly predictive of adverse survival (P < .001). Conclusions: In the treatment of primary mediastinal nonseminomatous germ cell tumors, avoiding bleomycin-containing chemotherapy is important. Pre- and postchemotherapy pathology and postoperative serum tumor markers are independent predictors of long-term survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • chemotherapy
  • germ cell tumors
  • mediastinal tumors
  • thoracic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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