BACKGROUND: Patients with pure teratoma within the postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (PC-RPLND) specimen traditionally have been considered at low risk for disease progression. The objectives of this study were to determine the disease-related outcomes of patients who had pure teratoma identified at the time of PC-RPLND and to examine the prognostic value of clinical variables that were identified previously as important predictors of disease recurrence in these patients. METHODS: Between 1980 and 2003, 97 patients with metastatic nonseminomatous germ cell tumor and pure teratoma histology at the time of PC-RPLND were identified. The medical records of these patients were reviewed retrospectively for pertinent clinical and treatment-related outcomes. RESULTS: At a median follow-up of 7.4 years, 21 patients (22%) developed recurrent disease after PC-RPLND. The 5-year and 10-year probabilities (±standard error) of freedom from disease recurrence were 81% ± 4% and 76% ± 5%, respectively. The postchemotherapy α-fetoprotein (AFP) level and mediastinal involvement at presentation were statistically significant predictors of disease recurrence on multivariate analysis. Nine of 97 patients (9.3%) died from testis cancer, and 4 patients died from other causes. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with pure teratoma histology at PC-RPLND, mediastinal involvement at presentation and the presence of an elevated AFP level before PC-RPLND predicted an unfavorable outcome. The absence of mediastinal involvement and normal AFP level, however, did not confirm freedom from disease recurrence. Patients who had teratoma at the time of PC-RPLND remained at considerable risk for disease progression because of the unpredictable nature of teratoma and the presence of unrecognized, active germ cell disease outside the retroperitoneum.
- Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research