Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection after chemotherapy in patients with elevated tumour markers: indications, histopathology and outcome.BJU Int. 2008 Jul; 102(2):198-202.BI
To evaluate the factors affecting outcome and the pathological findings in patients who had retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (pcRPLND) after chemotherapy with elevated tumour markers, as such patients have an unfavourable prognosis, with further salvage chemotherapy being the usual treatment of choice.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
Information on the preoperative treatment, tumour markers, histopathology and outcome data of the patients who had pcRPLND were extracted from the hospital databases. Survival was analysed using the Kaplan-Meier method and multivariate analysis with Cox regression model.
In all, 358 patients had pcRPLND between September 1992 and April 2006, by one surgeon. In 48 patients the tumour markers were elevated at the time of surgery, they were on a 'rising trend' in 26 (54%) and 'downward or stable' trend in 22 (46%). The overall incidence of active germ cell tumour, differentiated teratoma and necrosis in the resected specimens was 58%, 25% and 17%, respectively. The median follow-up was 51.5 months and the overall 5-year survival was 69%. The favourable prognostic factors assessed by univariate analysis were elevation of alpha-fetoprotein alone, complete resection of residual disease, histological finding of differentiated teratoma in the resected tissues and normalization of tumour markers after pcRPLND. By multivariate analysis the only statistically significant independent survival factor was the normalization of the tumour markers after pcRPLND.
For selected patients with elevated tumour markers after chemotherapy, RPLND can offer a significant chance of cure with no need for further chemotherapy. The patients most likely to benefit are those with elevations of alpha-fetoprotein alone. In this group, pcRPLND can offer the prospect of long-term survival and should be considered in the management of selected patients.