Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection as adjuvant therapy in the treatment of non-seminomatous testicular cancer
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Acta chirurgica Belgica. - Brussel, 1946 - 1996
, p. 599-602
University of Antwerp
Objective : To assess the results of retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) of residual masses in patients with disseminated non-seminomatous germ cell tumour treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy, both in terms of extension of surgery, morbidity and survival. Patients and methods : Retrospectively, all patients treated for non-seminomatous germ cell tumour at the University Hospital of Antwerp were studied from January 1987 till December 1997. In patients with non-seminomatous testicular cancer more than stage I, the 'wait and see' strategy changed and patients were treated with chemotherapy. Patients were assessed at the end of chemotherapy and if a residual masses persisted, a RPLND was performed. If possible, a nerve-sparing lymphadenectomy was performed. Extension of surgery, morbidity and survival were analysed. Results : Sixty patients had a non-seminomatous germ cell tumor of the testis and were analysed. The median follow-up was 78 months (range : 13-144 months). Thirteen patients with stage I disease were treated with orchiectomy only and none of these patients had recurrent disease. Forty-seven patients were treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy. A complete response was observed in sixteen patients (34%), while 31 patients (66%) achieved a partial response and were treated with a RPLND. Fifteen patients underwent RPLND above the level of the renal trunk. In two patients malignant cells or fibrotic tissue were found above the renal trunk and bilateral. In five patients viable tumour cells were found in the region below the renal trunk. Sixteen patients underwent RPLND below the level of the renal trunk, of which nine had a unilateral resection, containing viable tumour in two patients. Operative mortality was 0%. One patient died six months after RPLND due to metastatic disease. In two patients, an important retroperitoneal bleeding occurred. Resection of adherent organs was performed in two patients. Long term sexual problems were reported by thirteen patients (65%) with bilateral lymphadenectomy versus two patients (18%) in the unilateral group. The survival of the patients treated with a RPLND was 97% and in the whole group of patients with a non-seminomatous testicular cancer 98%. Conclusion : RPLND has a place in the treatment of patients with non-seminomatous testicular cancer after chemotherapy in case of residual masses. Although mortality is low, morbidity is acceptable. In a limited number of patients there was a need of resection of adherent organs when a resection above the renal trunk was performed.