Medline: 7537800

The abstract Journal of Clinical Oncology 13(5): 1170-1176, 1995. is available online.

The fulltext Journal of Clinical Oncology 13(5): 1170-1176, 1995. may be available online for subscribers.

Late relapse of testicular cancer.

Baniel J, Foster RS, Gonin R, et al.


This study analyzed a large group of patients with testicular germ cell cancer in complete remission, who relapsed more than 2 years after completion of treatment.

Patients and Methods:
A review of all patients treated at Indiana University Medical Center from 1979 through 1992 for late relapse was conducted. Eighty-one patients were treated for late relapse of testicular cancer. Forty-seven patients relapsed more than 5 years after successful management of their initial disease.

At initial diagnosis, 35 patients had clinical stage I, 18 stage II, and 28 stage III disease. Twenty-three of 35 stage I, all 18 stage II, and all 28 stage III patients were treated by chemotherapy before their late relapse. The median follow-up duration of patients post-management of late relapse was 4.8 years. Twenty-one patients (25.9%) are continuously disease-free. Nineteen of these 21 patients had surgical resection of carcinoma or teratoma as a component of their therapy. Of sixty-five patients treated for late relapse by chemotherapy, 17 (26.2%) had a complete response, but only two have been continuously disease-free with chemotherapy alone. These two never received prior chemotherapy.

Late relapse of testis cancer is more common than previously thought. Surgery is the preferred mode of therapy. Chemotherapy has only modest success in this entity, in contrast to the excellent results in de novo germ cell tumors. Patients treated for testicular germ cell cancer need annual follow-up evaluations throughout their life due to the possibility of late relapse.

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Dr. G. Quade