Post-chemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for non-seminomatous germ cell tumors: A single-surgeon, Canadian experience
Introduction: Post-chemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (PCRPLND) has a well-established role in the management of residual retroperitoneal masses >1 cm in patients with advanced non-seminomatous germ cell tumor (NSGCT). Herein, we report our single-surgeon surgical experience in a Canadian tertiary hospital.
Methods: We identified 57 patients with NSGCT who received primary chemotherapy and PCRPLND from 2010–2016. Surgical complication rate was graded with Clavien-Dindo classification. Chi-squared testing was used in testing for differences in proportion of PCRPLND tumor histology vs. the historical cohorts. Chi-squared testing was also used to analyze the association between primary orchiectomy tumor histology and post-chemotherapy residual mass (PCRM) tumor histology.
Results: The overall complication rate was 23% (n=13), of which four were Clavien-Dindo grade IIIb and one was grade IVa. Fourteen percent of patients required additional procedure for resection of adjacent organs intraoperatively. There was a statistically significant difference in the distribution of PCRPLND tumor histologies (Chi-squared p=0.0187), with a lower rate of viable tumor (7%) and higher rate of teratoma (63%) compared to historical cohorts. The absence of teratoma in the primary orchiectomy specimen was associated with the findings of fibrotic/necrotic tissue in the PCRM (Chi-squared p=0.0005).
Conclusions: Our series demonstrated that the rate of viable tumor in PCRM appears lower than published historical series, and this possibly reflects the improvement in chemotherapy delivery in a contemporary series. The high rate of teratoma in the PCRM calls for ongoing need for PCRPLND. Grade III and IV surgical complications are considered rare in our series.
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