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Can J Urol. 2000 Apr;7(2):967-72; discussion 973..

Long term outcome and cost in the management of stage I testicular seminoma.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Princess Margaret Hospital, 610 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2M9, Canada.



To validate the use of surveillance as an alternative to adjuvant RT in clinical stage I seminoma, we analyzed our experience with the two approaches in terms of long term outcome and cost.


Between January 1981 and December 1994, 471 patients with stage I testicular seminoma were treated at our institution. Of these, 245 patients received post-operative RT (25 Gy) to the retroperitoneal lymph nodes, and 226 have been managed with surveillance following orchidectomy. Two patients were included in this series twice; both had RT previously for seminoma, were placed on surveillance for a contralateral seminoma and were analyzed for outcome of both primary tumors. The costs associated with both approaches were estimated in 1994 Canadian dollars (C$).


With a median follow-up of 7.7 years in the surveillance patients, and 9.7 years in the adjuvant RT cohort, the 5 year actuarial survival for all patients was 97% and the cause-specific survival (CSS) was 99.8%. Of the 226 patients on surveillance 37 patients have relapsed to date; five of those developed a second relapse. One patient has died of disease. Of the 245 patients treated with adjuvant RT, 14 patients have relapsed and none had a second relapse. The CSS was 100%. Thirteen patients on surveillance (5.7%) and 10 patients treated with post-operative RT (4.1%) have received chemotherapy as part of their management. One hundred and eighty-nine patients on surveillance have received no post-orchidectomy treatment to date. Surveillance was more expensive with an average additional cost per patient per year of Can$2620 over 10 years.


Both adjuvant RT and surveillance give excellent results in stage I seminoma. The documented increased risk of second malignant tumors following RT must be taken into account when considering the additional cost of surveillance. The routine use of post-operative RT in stage I seminoma should be reconsidered and a surveillance program offered to all patients as an alternative management option.

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