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Cancer. 2003 Aug 15;98(4):753-7.

Does retroperitoneal lymph node dissection have a curative role for patients with sex cord-stromal testicular tumors?

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Department of Urology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA.



Sex cord-stromal tumors account for < 5% of all adult testicular tumors, and 10% are malignant. Due to the limited reported experience, there is no agreement on the best management, especially in patients who have tumors with malignant pathologic features or who present with metastatic disease. The authors attempt to evaluate the role of retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) in the management of patients with these malignant sex cord-stromal tumors.


Reviewing the Indiana University testis cancer registry revealed 17 patients who underwent RPLND for sex cord-stromal tumors. Pathology was reviewed for features suggestive of malignancy. The data examined included clinical and pathologic stage, surgical procedure, additional therapy received, and outcome.


Pathology included Leydig tumors in six patients, Sertoli tumors in four patients, sex cord-stromal tumors in five patients, a granulosa cell tumor in one patient, and a poorly differentiated non-germ cell tumor in one patient. Nine patients had histologic features suggestive of malignancy. Clinical stage at surgery was Stage I in nine patients and Stage IIA-IIIA in eight patients. Patients underwent modified or bilateral RPLND. Nine patients had pathologic Stage I tumors, and the remaining eight patients and had pathologic Stage IIB-IIIA tumors. Follow-up ranged from 8 months to 11 years. Of the eight patients with Stage II-III disease, six patients eventually died of metastatic disease despite additional radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy.


Sex cord-stromal tumors have a potentially aggressive malignant behavior that is difficult to predict based on clinical and pathologic features. Although the therapeutic role of RPLND in patients with small-volume metastatic retroperitoneal tumors is unclear, RPLND remains an option to be performed immediately after orchiectomy, especially in patients who have tumors with malignant features and/or small-volume metastatic disease.

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