• postchemotherapy;
  • retroperitoneal lymph node dissection;
  • predictors;
  • disease-specific survival



The management of metastatic nonseminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCT) frequently consists of systemic chemotherapy followed by retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (PC-RPLND). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the authors' PC-RPLND experience and identify predictors of outcome in these patients.


Between 1980 and 2003, 236 patients with clinical Stage IIA-III NSGCT underwent PC-RPLND. Their medical records were retrospectively reviewed for pertinent clinical and treatment-related outcomes. The 5-year disease-specific and recurrence-free survival was 85% and 75%, respectively, with the median length of follow-up after RPLND 45 months (6–250 months).


The median age of patients at diagnosis was 28 years, with all patients receiving systemic chemotherapy (median of 5 cycles) before RPLND. On multivariate analysis, predictors of poorer disease-specific survival (DSS) included systemic symptoms at presentation (P = .05), elevated pre-RPLND serum alpha fetoprotein (AFP, P = .006) and β-human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG, P = .004), postoperative complications (P = .03), and recurrence (P < .0001). Predictors of poorer recurrence-free survival (RFS) included advanced clinical stage (IIC-III, P = .001) and presence of viable tumor in the RPLND specimen (P = .03). A pre-RPLND serum AFP > 9 ng/mL and HCG > 4.1 mIU/mL were found to predict a worse DSS (P = .03 and .03, respectively).


In patients undergoing PC-RPLND, preoperative tumor markers and the occurrence of postoperative complications or recurrence are predictive of poorer DSS. Advanced clinical stage and viable tumor in the surgical specimen predict worse RFS. Cancer 2006. © 2006 American Cancer Society.