Primary transcrotal excision for paratesticular rhabdomyosarcoma

Is hemiscrotectomy really mandatory?




To evaluate the role of primary reexcision (PRE) with scrotal resection in patients with paratesticular rhabdomyosarcoma enrolled in the German-Italian Cooperative Studies. The authors compared patients who underwent this procedure, according to the protocol guidelines, with those who did not.


In 32 of 198 patients with localized disease, the primary surgery was performed through a noncorrect scrotal approach. Twenty-four patients underwent PRE as recommended by the protocol guidelines (Group A) and 8 did not receive this treatment (Group B). The Group B patients were treated with the same chemotherapeutic regimens as the Group A patients and no radiotherapy was given to either group.


After PRE, residual tumor was not detected in 21 of the 24 Group A patients. Twenty patients are alive in first complete remission 26–250 months after diagnosis (median, 40 months), 2 are alive in second complete remission at 3 and 9 months from diagnosis of lymph node and lung recurrence, and 2 died of disease after lymph node and distant metastases at 16 and 13 months from diagnosis. Three-fourths of these patients were older than 10 years old and the tumor was larger than 5 cm. The eight Group B patients are all alive in first complete remission 24–250 months since diagnosis.


The data on the eight patients who obtained local control without PRE or radiotherapy warrant further investigation. Because of the supposed high risk of contamination with subsequent microscopic residual tumor after a transcrotal approach, we emphasize the utility of PRE with hemiscrotectomy. Cancer 2003;97:1981–4. © 2003 American Cancer Society.

DOI 10.1002/cncr.11284