Testicular cancer guideline adherence and patterns of care in Germany: A nationwide survey

Testicular cancer has excellent cure rates; however, poor guideline adherence can lead to inappropriate management, with a detrimental effect on outcomes. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the current patterns of care for testicular cancer patients and to evaluate guideline adherence. A 19-item survey was distributed among German urologists between September 2015 and September 2016. The response rate was 45% (411/920). Staging imaging of the chest was performed by computed tomography (CT) in 85.5% and X-ray in 17.7%, and for the abdomen, by CT in 83.7% and by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in 21.1%. Areas of discrepancy with respect to guideline recommendations included underuse of MRI and infrequent follow-up examinations for changes in the cardiovascular, endocrine, neurological, and pulmonary systems, in addition to psychological burden. Further deviations of reported routine procedures from guideline recommendations were identified in the fields of active surveillance in Stage I seminoma, contralateral biopsies (63.1% overuse) and cryopreservation (19.2% underuse). Moreover, we found that hospital-based clinicians and younger specialists, with ≤5 years of practice following board certification, perform a more accurate and thorough follow-up. German urologists show relatively strong guideline adherence in staging patterns. Significant improvements are necessary in the following areas: recommending cryopreservation, imaging modalities and accurate follow-up examinations with a focus on late toxicities.

European journal of cancer care. 2018 Sep 25 [Epub ahead of print]

Tim Nestler, Martin Baunacke, Desiree Dräger, Nicolas von Landenberg, Christer Groeben, Johannes Huber

Department of Urology, Federal Armed Services Hospital Koblenz, Koblenz, Germany., Department of Urology, University Hospital Dresden, Dresden, Germany., Department of Urology, University Hospital Rostock, Rostock, Germany., Department of Urology, Marien Hospital Herne, Herne, Germany.