Interdisciplinary evidence-based recommendations for the follow-up of early stage seminomatous testicular germ cell cancer patients - Abstract

Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital, Tübingen, Germany.


To provide guidance regarding follow-up procedures after initial treatment of early stage testicular seminoma (clinical stages (CS) I-II A/B) based on current published evidence complemented by expert opinion.

An interdisciplinary, multinational working group consisting of urologists, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists analyzed the published evidence regarding follow-up procedures in various stages of seminomatous and nonseminomatous testicular cancers. Focusing on radiooncological aspects, the recommendations contained herein are restricted to early stage seminoma (with radiotherapy being a standard treatment option). In particular, extent, frequency, and duration of imaging at follow-up were analyzed concerning relapse patterns, risk factors, and mode of relapse detection.

Active surveillance, adjuvant carboplatin or radiotherapy are equally accepted options for CS I seminoma but they result in different relapse rates and patterns. Usually relapses occur within the first 2(-6) years. Routinely performed follow-up using computerized tomography (CT) after adjuvant treatment yield only low detection rates of recurrences. Therefore, there is no evidence to maintain routine examinations every 3-4 months. After treatment of stage IIA/B, detection rates of relapses or progression identified solely by routinely performed CT during follow-up are low.

Considering lifelong cure rates of up to 99% for patients treated for seminoma CS I-IIA/B, the negative impact of unnecessary ionizing radiation exposure has to be considered. The presented recommendations for various follow-up scenarios for early stage seminoma strongly promote the restrictive use of imaging procedures that utilize ionizing radiation (especially CT), due to its potential to induce secondary malignancies.

Written by:
Souchon R, Hartmann M, Krege S, Lorch A, Mayer F, De Santis M, Gillessen S, Beyer J, Cathomas R.   Are you the author?

Reference: Strahlenther Onkol. 2011 Mar;187(3):158-166.
doi: 10.1007/s00066-010-2227-x

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21347634 Testicular Cancer Section