Clinical staging in patients with stage I nonseminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCTs) of the testis fails in 30% to correctly assess pathological stage since microscopic and small-volume retroperitoneal disease is not detectable on computed tomography of the abdomen. Patients staged by retroperitoneal lymph node dissection as pathological stage I incur a distant (chest or serological) tumor relapse rate of 7-15% during follow-up. Recently, we reported on new risk factors as predictors of pathological stage by flow cytometric DNA analysis in clinical stage I patients. These same methods were applied to a group of 14 pathological stage I patients who subsequently had either chest or serological recurrence. The findings in this group of patients were compared with those in a group of 47 pathological stage I patients who did not experience recurrence. In pathological stage I NSGCT patients with distant (chest or serological) tumor relapse, we found by histological evaluation and DNA analysis of the original orchiectomy specimen proliferative tumor activity to be significantly predictive of relapse. Much as proliferative activity of the primary tumor is predictive of retroperitoneal metastasis, it may be a predictor of recurrence in pathological stage I patients.
- Flow cytometry
- Non-seminomatous testicular germ cell tumors
- Prognostic parameters
- Tumor recurrence
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