Oncological outcome and complications of post-chemotherapy retroperitoneal surgery in non-seminomatous germ cell tumours - a systematic review

5 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Post-chemotherapy surgery constitutes an integral part of the management of patients with non-seminomatous germ-cell tumours with a residual mass in the retroperitoneum. Published data on recurrence rates and complications to bilateral retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND), unilateral template RPLND, and resection of residual mass only according to different surgical techniques (open, laparoscopic, and robotic surgery) were reviewed.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: PubMed/Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane databases were searched systematically. The risk of bias was assessed with the Newcastle Ottawa Scale.

RESULTS: In total, 28 studies were included. Eight studies reported on open surgery with the bilateral template, seven on the unilateral template, and three on resection of mass only. Median follow-up was 39, 39, and 70 months, respectively. Recurrences were found in 11, 12, and 14%, respectively. Major complications (Clavien-Dindo III or more) were observed in 18, 8, and 17%, respectively. Two studies reported on laparoscopic bilateral surgery, eight on unilateral, and two on residual mass only. A total of Median follow-up was 52, 29, and 55 months, respectively. Recurrences were found in 0, 1, and 9%, respectively. Major complications were not documented for bilateral but were observed in 4% for unilateral and 0% for resection of tumour only. Four studies on robotic bilateral surgery, three on unilateral and two on resection of tumour only were included. Follow-up was 18, 35, and 30 months, respectively. Recurrences were found in 0, 0, and 2%, respectively. Major complications were observed in 0, 10. and 2%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: When patient selection is made, recurrence rates for the open unilateral template are comparable to the bilateral template. The risk of complications is highest after an open bilateral template. Laparoscopic and robotic surgery should not be used as a standard procedure. More studies are required with larger patient populations and longer follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Oncologica
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)695-703
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • lymph node excision
  • Non-seminomatous germ cell tumours
  • post-chemotherapy surgery
  • retroperitoneal lymph node dissection


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