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The incidence, prognosis, clinical and histological characteristics, treatment, and outcome of patients with bilateral germ cell testicular cancer in Hungary

Lajos Géczi, Frederic Gomez, Mihály Bak, István Bodrogi
Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology 2003, 129 (5): 309-15

PURPOSE: To examine the incidence, prognosis, clinical and histological characteristics, treatment, and outcome of patients with bilateral testicular cancer in the referral center in Hungary, to determine which parameters might predict a second testicular tumor.

METHODS: . Clinical parameters-such as time of original surgery, histology of primary tumor, extent of the disease, serum marker concentrations, history of testicular abnormalities, treatment, response to treatment, follow-up period, data on second carcinoma-of bilateral testicular tumors among the 2,386 patients with testicular cancer treated between November 1988 and November 1998 were analyzed.

RESULTS: The incidence of patients with synchronous testicular tumor was 0.8% (19 of 2,386 patients). The clinical stages were 8 I/A, 5 I/B, 1 II/A, 2 II/B, 1 III/A, and 2 III/B. Median follow-up time was 93 months and the 5-year overall survival was 84%. The incidence of patients with metachronous testicular cancer (median age 28 years and 35 years at first and second tumor diagnosis) was 2.2% (53 of 2,386 patients) and the median time to second tumor was 76 months (range 18-203 months). The clinical stages at the first and second tumor diagnosis were: 14 I/A, 21 I/B, 15 II/A, 2 II/B, and 1 III/B, and 26 I/A, 16 I/B, 3 II/A, 1 II/B, 7 III/B, respectively. The median follow-up time was 42 months and the 5-year overall survival was 93%. In thirteen patients with metachronous cancers, two family histories of testicular cancer, five cases of undescended testicles, seven cases of testicular atrophy, and one case of azoospermia were detected. There was a non-significant trend to a longer cancer interval after chemotherapy and radiotherapy and a tendency to a greater incidence of asynchronous seminoma after chemotherapy. Clinical stage I tumors were more frequent in the surveyed group than among patients not followed up according to the institutional protocol ( P = 0.01), but the survival rate was good in both groups. Seminoma as a second tumor was diagnosed in an older age group (median 38 years, range 25-49 years) than nonseminoma (median 32 years, range 21-51 years, P < 0.045). The interval till the appearance of a metachronous testicular cancer depended on tumor histology: in seminoma cases it was longer than in nonseminoma cases (median time: 121 months versus 50 months, P = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS: The overall incidence of bilateral testicular cancer in the referral center in Hungary was 3%. We could not identify clinical factors which predicted a higher risk for metachronous testicular cancer. With regular follow-up the early diagnosis of second testicular tumors is probable; therefore education, self-examination of the remaining testicle, and long-term follow-up are important in early detection.


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