Germ cell tumours of the testis

Stefania Gori, Stella Porrozzi, Fausto Roila, Gemma Gatta, Ugo De Giorgi, Maurizio Marangolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cancer of the testis is a relatively rare disease, accounting for about 1% of all cancers in men. Cryptorchidism is the only confirmed risk factor for testicular germ cell tumour. The majority of GCT are clinically detectable at initial presentation. Any nodular, hard, or fixed area discovered in the testis, must be considered neoplastic until proved otherwise. The appropriate surgical procedure to make the diagnosis is a radical orchidectomy through an inguinal incision. Many GCT produce tumoural markers (AFP, HCG, LDH), who are useful in the diagnosis and staging of disease; to monitor the therapeutic response and to detect tumour recurrence. In 1997 a prognostic factor-based classification for the metastatic germ cell tumours was developed by the IGCCCG: good, intermediate and poor prognosis, with 5-year survival of 91, 79 and 48%, respectively. GCT of the testis is a highly table, often curable, cancer. Germ cell testicular cancers are divided into seminoma and non-seminoma types for treatment planning because seminomatous testicular cancers are more sensitive to radiotherapy. Seminoma (all stages combined) has a cure rate of greater than 90%. For patients with low-stage disease, the cure approaches 100%. For patients with non-seminoma tumours, the cure rate is >95% in stages I and II; it is ∼70% with standard chemotherapy and resection of residual disease, if necessary, in stages III and IV. Minimum guidelines for clinical, biochemical, and radiological follow-up have been reported by ESMO in 2001.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-164
Number of pages24
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005


  • Cancer
  • Germ cell
  • Testis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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