Medline: 2072143

Journal of Clinical Oncology 9(8): 1393-1396, 1991.

Is adjuvant chemotherapy necessary for patients with stage B1 testicular cancer?

Richie JP, Kantoff PW


Controversy exists concerning the role of adjunctive chemotherapy in patients with regional nodal involvement. A randomized study reported a 48% relapse rate for patients with positive nodes (stage B1 or stage B2), all of whom were salvaged by full-dose platinum-based chemotherapy. In a series of patients with positive nodes who received two cycles of adjunctive chemotherapy postoperatively, the relapse rate was only 2%. In order to evaluate the effect of retroperitoneal lymph node dissection on relapse rates in patients with stage B1 testicular cancer, a retrospective review of a series of 39 patients was performed. Criteria for inclusion included pathologic stage B1 (less than six positive nodes, located in the primary landing site, with no node greater than 2 cm in diameter and no extracapsular lymph node extension). Patients who fulfilled the criteria along with normalization of tumor markers were followed-up expectantly after retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. Thirty-nine patients were followed from 1 to 10 years with the median duration of follow-up of 3.5 years. Ten of the 39 patients had modified retroperitoneal lymph node dissections with preservation of antegrade ejaculation. The other 29 had full retroperitoneal lymph node dissections. Three relapses were seen, one patient with retrocrural and pulmonary metastases and two patients with pulmonary metastases only for a relapse rate of 8% (three of 39). Patients with stage B2 disease received adjunctive chemotherapy with two or three cycles of platinum-based chemotherapy. We conclude that retroperitoneal lymph node dissection alone is adequate treatment for the majority of patients with pathologic stage B1 testicular cancer. In that subset of patients, adjunctive chemotherapy should be reserved for relapse.

This is a service of:

Uni Logo

Rheinische Friedrich- Wilhelms- Universität Bonn
Medical Center

Dr. G. Quade