A 20-year single-institution experience of clinical stage I nonseminomatous germ cell tumors of the testis (NSGCTT) in childhood and adolescents was reviewed in relation to clinical characteristics, treatment modalities, and survival. Thirty-one patients with clinical stage I NSGCTT were seen between 1980 and 2000: 14 children and 17 adolescents. Yolk sac tumors and/or teratomas occurred in the children, whereas mixed histologies, including embryonal carcinoma, were predominant in the adolescents. After orchiectomy, the children were assigned to surveillance and the adolescents to active treatment: 16 underwent retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) and 1 had adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy because of a high-risk histology. Three of the 14 children (21.4%) relapsed 3, 7, and 8 months after orchiectomy: all 3 had yolk sac tumors and presented with increased alpha-fetoprotein levels. No patients had retroperitoneal relapse; two recurred locally and one in the lung. All three children were treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy with or without surgery. Among the 16 adolescents undergoing RPLND, 4 (25%) had nodal metastases. Three of the 12 patients (25%) who had negative nodes at RPLND relapsed in the lung 3, 7, and 8 months after RPLND. All were treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy with or without surgery. Five-year relapse-free and overall survival rates for the whole series were 80.6% and 100%, respectively. This series enabled the authors to pinpoint several important aspects of stage I NSGCTT in children and adolescents. In particular, almost all the childhood cases had the same yolk sac tumor histology, the children tended to have localized disease, and an increased alphafetoprotein level had a very high predictive value, suggesting that follow-up should include AFP measurements. A conservative approach is the best option in children, while adolescent NSGCTT behaves like the adult disease and management must include similar treatment strategies.
- Nonseminomatous germ cell tumors of the testis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health