Comparative Effectiveness of Surveillance, Primary Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy and Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection for the Management of Early Stage Testicular Germ Cell Tumors: A Systematic Review

Phillip M. Pierorazio, Joseph G. Cheaib, Hiten D. Patel, Mohit Gupta, Ritu Sharma, Allen Zhang, Giorgia Tema, Eric B. Bass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

PURPOSE: Cancer specific survival for men with early stage (I to IIB) testicular germ cell tumors is greater than 90% with any management strategy. The data regarding the comparative effectiveness of surveillance, primary chemotherapy, radiotherapy and retroperitoneal lymph node dissection were synthesized with a focus on oncologic outcomes, patient reported outcomes, and short and long-term toxicities. MATERIALS AND METHODS: PubMed®, Embase® and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched from 1980 to 2018 for studies addressing the effectiveness of surveillance, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, according to pathology and clinical stage, for men with an early stage testicular germ cell tumor. RESULTS: Cancer specific survival ranged from 94% to 100% for patients with early stage testicular germ cell tumors regardless of tumor histology and initial management strategy. For men with seminoma the median cancer specific survival was 99.7% (range 97% to 100%), 99.5% (96.8% to 100%) and 100% (100% to 100%) among those managed by surveillance, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, respectively. Median cancer specific survival for men with nonseminomatous testicular germ cell tumors was 100% (range 98.6% to 100%), 100% (96.9% to 100%) and 100% (94% to 100%) when managed by surveillance, retroperitoneal lymph node dissection and chemotherapy, respectively. Recurrence rates and toxicities varied by management strategy. For men with seminoma surveillance, chemotherapy and radiotherapy were associated with median recurrence rates of 15%, 2% and 3.7%, respectively. For men with nonseminomatous testicular germ cell tumors the median recurrence rates were 20.5%, 3.3% and 11.1% for surveillance, chemotherapy and retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, respectively. Surveillance was associated with minimal toxicities compared to other approaches. Primary chemotherapy had the highest rate of short-term toxicities and was associated with long-term risks of metabolic syndrome, hypogonadism, renal impairment, neuropathy, infertility and secondary malignancies. Toxicities with radiotherapy included acute dermatitis and long-term gastrointestinal complications, infertility and high rates of secondary malignancies (2% to 3%). Patients undergoing retroperitoneal lymph node dissection had significant risk of toxicity perioperatively and long-term infertility in men with anejaculation. Transient detriments in patient reported outcomes and quality of life were noted with all management options. CONCLUSIONS: Men with early stage testicular germ cell tumors experience excellent cancer specific survival regardless of management strategy. Management options, however, differ in terms of associated recurrence rates, short and long-term toxicities, and patient reported outcomes. The profile for each approach should be clearly communicated to patients and matched with patient preferences to offer the best individual outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-382
Number of pages13
JournalThe Journal of urology
Volume205
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021

Keywords

  • drug therapy
  • lymph node excision
  • radiotherapy
  • testicular neoplasms
  • watchful waiting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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