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Testicular Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Stage III Testicular Cancer


Similarly, a population-based study of testis cancer in Japan in the 1990s reported a significant association between survival and the number of testis cancer patients treated. Relative 5-year survival was 98.8% at high-volume hospitals compared with 79.7% at low-volume hospitals. After adjusting for stage and age, the hazard ratio for death in a high-volume hospital was 0.11 (95% CI, 0.025–0.495).[18] Several other studies have reported similar findings.[19,20,21] As in any nonrandomized study design, patient selection factors and factors leading patients to choose treatment at one center versus another can make interpretation of these results difficult.

Many patients with poor-risk nonseminomatous testicular germ cell tumors who have a serum beta human chorionic gonadotropin (beta-hCG) level higher than 50,000 IU/mL at the initiation of cisplatin-based therapy (BEP or PVB) will still have an elevated beta-hCG level at the completion of therapy, showing an initial rapid decrease in beta-hCG followed by a plateau.[22] In the absence of other signs of progressing disease, monthly evaluation with initiation of salvage therapy, if and when there is serologic progression, may be appropriate. Many patients, however, will remain disease-free without further therapy.[22][Level of evidence: 3iiDiv]

Residual Masses After Chemotherapy in Men with Seminomas

Residual radiologic abnormalities are common at the completion of chemotherapy. Such masses are not treated unless they grow or are histopathologically shown to contain viable cancer. In a combined retrospective consecutive series of 174 seminoma patients with postchemotherapy residual disease seen at ten treatment centers, empiric radiation was not associated with any medically significant improvement in PFS after completion of platinum-based combination chemotherapy.[23][Level of evidence: 3iiDiii] In some series, surgical resection of specific masses has yielded a significant number of patients with residual seminoma that require additional therapy.[24] Larger masses are more likely to harbor viable cancer, but there is no size criteria with high sensitivity and specificity. 18 fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) scans have been shown to be helpful in identifying patients who harbor viable cancers, but the false-positive rate is substantial in some series.[25,26,27] The strength of positron emission tomograph (PET) scans in residual seminoma masses is that they have a very high sensitivity and a low false-negative rate. Thus, for men with residual masses for whom resection is being planned, a negative PET scan provides evidence that surgery is not necessary.

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