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Late relapse of metastatic testicular nonseminoma: surgery is needed for cure

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  • Late relapse of metastatic testicular nonseminoma: surgery is needed for cure

    BJU Int. 2006 Aug;98(2):353-8.

    Late relapse of metastatic testicular nonseminomatous germ cell cancer: surgery is needed for cure.Geldart TR, Gale J, McKendrick J, Kirby J, Mead G.
    Medical Oncology Unit, Southhampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, Southhampton, UK. [email protected]

    OBJECTIVE: To identify patients with late relapse of metastatic, nonseminomatous germ cell tumour (NSGCT) and to evaluate the patterns of relapse, treatment and outcome, as such relapse at >2 years after complete remission to treatment for metastatic disease (late relapse) is uncommon, but with prolonged follow-up is becoming increasingly recognized. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Between 1980 and 2004, 1405 patients with testicular GCTs were identified who presented to Southampton University Hospital; 742 had NSGCTs or combined testicular GCTs, of whom 405 received primary chemotherapy for metastatic disease. In all, 329 (81%) patients achieved a complete response (CR) to initial treatment, with 101 of them (31%) requiring surgical resection of residual masses after chemotherapy. Any patient relapsing at >2 years after a CR to initial treatment (late relapse) was assessed in detail. RESULTS: In all, 20 patients had a late relapse, 17 of whom received initial treatment locally and three of whom were initially treated elsewhere. Most (65%) late relapses were asymptomatic and detected by routine cross-sectional imaging or rising levels of tumour markers. Late relapse occurred at a median (range) of 108 (26-217) months (approximately 9 years) after CR. Fifteen (75%) patients underwent only surgery for late relapse, including five who had invasive malignant germ cell cancer within the resected specimens. Fourteen of 15 surgically treated patients remained alive at a median of 44 (9-184) months from initial treatment for late relapse; one had died with progressive recurrent germ cell/epithelial malignancy. Five (25%) patients were initially treated with chemotherapy for late relapse; three of them died from progressive germ cell cancer and the two survivors both had surgical excision of residual abnormalities after salvage chemotherapy. Overall, 15 of 20 (75%) men remain alive with no evidence of disease; one further patient is currently undergoing salvage treatment for his third relapse. CONCLUSION: Late relapse is uncommon after modern therapy for metastatic GCTs. Surgical treatment for localized disease, where possible, is associated with prolonged disease-free and overall survival. By contrast, chemotherapy is associated with a low response rate and a poor outcome.
    PMID: 16879677 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    Retired moderator. Husband, left I/O 16Dec2005, stage I seminoma with elevated b-HCG, no LVI, RTx15 (25Gy). All clear ever since.