Late recurrence in 1263 men with testicular germ cell tumors

Multivariate analysis of risk factors and implications for management

Authors

  • Mehdi Shahidi,

    Corresponding author
    1. Academic Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, The Royal Marsden NHS Trust and the Institute of Cancer Research, Surrey, United Kingdom
    • Academic Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, The Royal Marsden NHS Trust and The Institute of Cancer Research, Downs Road, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5PT, United Kingdom
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    • Fax: +011-44 (208) 643 8809

  • Andrew R. Norman Ph.D.,

    1. Department of Computing and Information, the Royal Marsden NHS Trust and the Institute of Cancer Research, Surrey, United Kingdom
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  • David P. Dearnaley,

    1. Academic Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, The Royal Marsden NHS Trust and the Institute of Cancer Research, Surrey, United Kingdom
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  • Judy Nicholls R.G.N.,

    1. Academic Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, The Royal Marsden NHS Trust and the Institute of Cancer Research, Surrey, United Kingdom
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  • Alan Horwich,

    1. Academic Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, The Royal Marsden NHS Trust and the Institute of Cancer Research, Surrey, United Kingdom
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  • Robert A. Huddart

    1. Academic Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, The Royal Marsden NHS Trust and the Institute of Cancer Research, Surrey, United Kingdom
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  • This work was undertaken in The Royal Marsden NHS Trust, which received a proportion of its funding from the NHS Executive. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS Executive.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Testicular germ cell tumors are highly curable. However, 10–30% of patients have recurrence after initial treatment. The time–course of recurrence has implications for the duration of follow-up. This study was undertaken to assess the risk and time–course of recurrence and to identify patients at higher risk of late recurrence.

METHODS

The records of 1263 patients with primary testicular germ cell tumors presenting to the Royal Marsden Hospital between December 1979 and December 1993 were reviewed. In all, 255 episodes of recurrence were documented (including 44 patients with multiple recurrences) and used to calculate recurrence-free survivals.

RESULTS

Fifty-three patients (15 seminomas; 38 nonseminomatous germ cell tumors [NSGCT]) had recurrence more than 2 years after initial presentation. A multivariate analysis of risk of recurrence after 2 years identified positive markers at presentation and the presence of differentiated teratomas in postchemotherapy surgical specimens as significant predictors. Very late recurrence (> 5 years) occurred mainly in patients with metastatic NSGCT (12 of 14 patients) with a 1% annual risk of recurrence between 5 and 10 years. Very late recurrence was also seen in one case of metastatic seminoma and one case of Stage I NSGCT managed by surveillance. Most late recurrences (n = 9) were detected at routine annual follow-up visits but five had recurrences with symptoms leading to an unscheduled clinic visit.

CONCLUSION

Late recurrences are rare in patients with testicular germ cell tumors and follow-up to detect recurrence may not be needed after 5 years, except in those presenting with metastatic NSGCTs. Cancer 2002;95:520–30. © 2002 American Cancer Society.

DOI 10.1002/cncr.10691

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