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Urology. 2012 May;79(5):1079-84. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2011.11.090. Epub 2012 Mar 23.

Outcomes in patients with clinical stage III NSGCT who achieve complete clinical response to chemotherapy at extraretroperitoneal disease site.

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Department of Surgery, Urology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.



To compare the survival outcomes of patients with advanced nonseminoma and extraretroperitoneal (ERP) disease observed for a clinical complete response (CCR) with those demonstrating a pathologic complete response (PCR).


From 1989 to 2003, 237 patients with clinical Stage III nonseminoma underwent induction chemotherapy followed by retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. After chemotherapy, 107 demonstrated a CCR to treatment at the ERP disease site. Of the remaining 130 patients with radiographic evidence of residual ERP disease, 86 (66%) had fibrosis only on pathologic review (ie, PCR). The probability of progression-free and disease-specific survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to determine the prognostic significance of risk factors for progression and survival.


The median follow-up was similar for both CCR and PCR patients (44.5 and 50.7 months, respectively). Overall, the 5-year probability of freedom from progression (93% vs 72%, respectively; P = .0005) and disease-specific survival (96% vs 87%, respectively; P = .08) rates were far better for men with a PCR. The predictors of disease progression included residual retroperitoneal nodal size after chemotherapy (P = .05), and resection of the residual disease at the ERP site was protective (P = .02).


A CCR at the ERP disease site is associated with a greater likelihood of relapse compared with a PCR, underscoring the limitations of radiographic imaging after chemotherapy in detecting microscopic residual disease and need for rigorous monitoring of patients observed after a CCR. Furthermore, until more accurate clinical predictors of ERP histologic features are identified, we advocate for complete surgical resection of all sites of residual disease, when feasible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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