Active surveillance (AS) for testicular nonseminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCT) is widely used. Although there is no consensus for optimal treatment at relapse on surveillance, globally patients typically receive chemotherapy. We describe treatment of relapses in our non-risk-adapted NSGCT AS cohort and highlight selective use of primary retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND).
From December 1980 to December 2015, 580 patients with clinical stage I NSGCT were treated with AS, and 162 subsequently relapsed. First-line treatment was based on relapse site and extent. Logistic regression was used to explore factors associated with need for multimodal therapy on AS relapse.
Median time to relapse was 7.4 months. The majority of relapses were confined to the retroperitoneum (66%). After relapse, first-line treatment was chemotherapy for 95 (58.6%) and RPLND for 62 (38.3%), and five patients (3.1%) underwent other therapy. In 103 (65.6%), only one modality of treatment was required: chemotherapy only in 58 of 95 (61%) and RPLND only in 45 of 62 (73%). Factors associated with multimodal relapse therapy were larger node size (odds ratio, 2.68; P = .045) in patients undergoing chemotherapy and elevated tumor markers (odds ratio, 6.05; P = .008) in patients undergoing RPLND. When RPLND was performed with normal markers, 82% required no further treatment. Second relapse occurred in 30 of 162 patients (18.5%). With median follow-up of 7.6 years, there were five deaths (3.1% of AS relapses, but 0.8% of whole AS cohort) from NSGCT or treatment complications.
The retroperitoneum is the most common site of relapse in clinical stage I NSGCT on AS. Most are cured by single-modality treatment. RPLND should be considered for relapsed patients, especially those with disease limited to the retroperitoneum and normal markers, as an option to avoid chemotherapy.
Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 2019 Feb 25 [Epub ahead of print]
Robert J Hamilton, Madhur Nayan, Lynn Anson-Cartwright, Eshetu G Atenafu, Philippe L Bedard, Aaron Hansen, Peter Chung, Padraig Warde, Joan Sweet, Martin O'Malley, Jeremy Sturgeon, Michael A S Jewett
1 Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.