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Surveillance for Stage I Nonseminoma Testicular Cancer: Outcomes and Long-Term Follow-Up in a Population-Based Cohort

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PURPOSE: To describe treatment results in a large cohort with stage I nonseminoma germ cell cancer (NSGCC) treated in a surveillance program.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: From January 1, 1984, to December 31, 2007, 1,226 patients with stage I NSGCC, including high-risk patients with vascular invasion, were observed in a surveillance program.

RESULTS: The relapse rate after orchiectomy alone was 30.6% at 5 years. Presence of vascular invasion together with embryonal carcinoma and rete testis invasion in the testicular primary identified a group with a relapse risk of 50%. Without risk factors, the relapse risk was 12%. Eighty percent of relapses were diagnosed within the first year after orchiectomy. The median time to relapse was 5 months (range, 1 to 308 months). Early relapses were mainly detected by increase in tumor markers, and late relapses were detected by computed tomography scans. Relapses after 5 years were seen in 0.5% of the whole cohort or in 1.6% of relapsing patients. The majority of relapses (94.4%) belonged to the good prognostic group according to the International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group classification. The disease-specific survival at 15 years was 99.1%.

CONCLUSION: A surveillance policy for patients with stage I NSGCC is a safe approach associated with an excellent cure rate and an overall low treatment burden despite a high relapse rate in a small group of patients. We recommend surveillance for patients with stage I NSGCC with immediate systemic treatment at relapse. Clearly defined risk factors for relapse are presented if an option of risk-adapted treatment is preferred.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
Pages (from-to)3817
Number of pages3,823
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014

ID: 44667068