The introduction of cisplatin-based systemic chemotherapy into the clinical routine has resulted in a substantial improvement of the recurrence-free and long-term survival of patients with metastatic testicular germ cell tumors. Late relapses after the completion of first-line therapy, comprising systemic chemotherapeutic treatment in combination with a complete resection of residual tumor masses visible in about 25-50% of patients, have been reported to occur in 1-5% of patients later than 2 years following the initial treatment. It has been reported that the risk for the development of late recurrence is correlated to the tumor burden at first diagnosis and/or the presence of teratomatous components within the primary testicular cancer. Second-line chemotherapy in combination with surgery, although not very well standardized, has been recommended as the most effective therapeutic regimen during the treatment of patients suffering from late recurrent germ cell tumors. Herein, we report our single-center experience with 14 patients in different clinical stages who developed late relapse after successful first-line therapy. In the present series, the risk for late relapse was not correlated to the clinical stage at first diagnosis or the presence of teratomatous elements within the primary tumor. It became evident that in selected cases chemotherapy alone can be considered a curative treatment option.
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)