Adjuvant chemotherapy in resected stage-II nonseminomatous germ cell tumors of testis. In which cases is it necessary?

G. Pizzocaro, L. Piva, R. Salvioni, M. Pasi, S. Pilotti, S. Monfardini

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In an attempt to reduce the recurrence rate and to improve survival in resected stage-II nonseminomatous testicular cancer, two consecutive series of patients were treated with adjuvant vinblastine-bleomycin (VB) continuous infusion, or cisplatin, vinblastine, bleomycin (PVB). 11 former patients who received no adjuvant chemotherapy and 5 who refused the adjuvant treatment were considered historical controls. After a median follow-up of 5 years, relapses were 4 in 15 patients treated with VB (27%), 1 in 29 treated with PVB (3%) and 8 in the untreated (50%). Adjuvant PVB significantly reduced the recurrence rate (p <0.001), while VB did not (p = 0.4). However, the advantage of adjuvant PVB was evident only in patients with metastases larger than 5 cm, macroscopic extranodal spread, and tumor invasion into retroperitoneal veins, who were classified as pathologic stage II-C: no relapse and 100% survival following adjuvant PVB in 11 cases, versus 68% relapses and 28.5% survival in 7 untreated patients (p <0.01); 2 relapses and 2 survivors in 3 treated with VB. On the other hand, only 1 of the 39 patients with less extensive retroperitoneal disease died of testicular cancer, and he was in the VB adjuvant treatment group. We conclude that only aggressive adjuvant chemotherapy significantly reduces the recurrence rate and improves survival in resected stage-II nonseminomatous testis cancer. However, it is mandatory only in the very high risk subset II-C of patients, while the others could be carefully followed at monthly intervals and safely treated with aggressive chemotherapy only in the event of relapse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-158
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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