Author(s): Gels ME
PURPOSE: A wait-and-see policy for patients with stage I nonseminomatous testicular germ cell tumors (NSTGCT) was evaluated in a prospective study. The frequency and time of recurrence, detection of recurrence, and presence of unfavorable prognostic factors were investigated.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: During the period 1982 to 1992, 154 patients with stage I NSTGCT (median age, 29 years) underwent orchidectomy and were monitored at follow-up evaluation with physical examinations, alfafetoprotein (AFP) and beta-human choriogonadotropin (hCG) levels, chest x-rays (CXR), and computed tomographic (CT) scans of the abdomen and chest. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to identify prognostic factors.
RESULTS: During a median follow-up period of 7 years (range, 2 to 12), recurrence was found in 42 patients (27.3%). All cases of recurrence were detected within 2 years, 90% in the first year after orchidectomy. In 29 patients (69.0%), recurrence was detected in the abdominal lymph nodes. Nine patients (21.4%) had metastases in the retroperitoneum and mediastinum and/or lungs, and four patients (9.6%) had metastases only in the mediastinum or lungs. The majority of recurrences (97.6%) were detected by tumor markers and CT scans. Recurrence was related to the presence of vascular invasion, embryonal carcinoma (E), elevated preoperative hCG level, and absence of mature teratoma (M). Only vascular invasion was an independent risk factor. After polychemotherapy treatment for recurrence, the survival rate for the total group was 98.7%.
CONCLUSION: The wait-and-see policy is a reliable method for follow-up monitoring of patients with stage I NSTGCT. Even in patients with unfavorable prognostic factors, it is justified to await the possible appearance of metastases. For the future, it is recommended that CXR be omitted from the schedule, and it might be feasible to discontinue follow-up evaluations after 5 years.Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy