Head and neck surgeons can be involved in the management of germ cell tumor (GCT) metastatic to the neck from initial diagnosis through postchemotherapy management of residual neck masses. This article reports on 34 consecutive patients with GCT metastatic to the neck.
Retrospective chart review.
A single-institution retrospective chart review of 34 consecutive patients with GCT metastatic to the neck who underwent postchemotherapy neck surgery between 1991 and 2009 was performed.
Seventy-four percent of patients had a neck mass at initial diagnosis, with 50% of patients having a neck mass as the presenting symptom leading to a diagnosis of GCT. Of the 37 neck procedures, positive nodes were found in 22. No significant relationship between preoperative tumor markers and neck pathology (P = .35) was identified. No patients had neck recurrence. No patients had permanent nerve injury or chyle leak. As a secondary end point, survival analysis related to cervical pathology showed that viable tumor in the neck predicted disease-specific survival (P = .01). Five- and 10-year disease-specific survival was 82.3% (median, 52-month follow-up).
Operative management for patients with metastatic GCT to the neck can achieve long-term durable cervical control with limited complications.