Adult urologyRecurrence of germ cell tumor after orchiectomy
Review articleOpen access

AbstractObjectives. To assess the characteristics of patients with recurrent disease by a retrospective analysis.Methods. Between 1982 and 1998, 488 patients were treated in Nijmegen for testicular cancer. All patients underwent orchiectomy and adjuvant treatment when indicated. Patients were routinely followed up.Results. In 36 patients (7.4%), disease recurrence was found during follow-up; 12 had contralateral disease and 24 systemic recurrence. Contralateral testicular cancer occurred a median of 63.8 months (range 43.2 to 165.2) after orchiectomy and systemic recurrence at a median of 6.1 months (range 1.5 to 94.4). Contralateral testicular cancer was more frequent in patients with pure seminoma (odds ratio 4.3, 95% confidence interval 1.4 to 13.1); 8 of 9 patients with contralateral cancer received adjuvant radiotherapy. The best predictor of systemic recurrence after nonseminoma germ cell tumor was the presence of teratoma and embryonal cell components in the primary tumor. In the entire population, 19 patients (3.9%) died of the disease. None of the patients with contralateral testicular recurrence or systemic recurrence after Stage I seminoma died of the disease. One of 10 patients died of recurrent Stage I nonseminoma germ cell tumor. The chance of dying of recurrence after metastatic nonseminoma germ cell tumor was 36%.Conclusions. Recurrence after an initially complete response is rare in testicular cancer. Contralateral testicular cancer is associated with the presence of seminoma components in the primary tumor and occurs almost 10 times later than systemic recurrence. The prognosis after contralateral testicular cancer and after recurrence in Stage I seminoma is good.

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