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Long term outcome and cost in the management of stage I testicular seminoma
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Princess Margaret Hospi
Apr  2000 (Vol.  7, Issue  2, Pages( 967 - 972)


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    To validate the use of surveillance as an alternative to adjuvant RT in clinical stage I seminoma, we analyzed our experience with the two approaches in terms of long term outcome and cost. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Between January 1981 and December 1994, 471 patients with stage I testicular seminoma were treated at our institution. Of these, 245 patients received post-operative RT (25 Gy) to the retroperitoneal lymph nodes, and 226 have been managed with surveillance following orchidectomy. Two patients were included in this series twice; both had RT previously for seminoma, were placed on surveillance for a contralateral seminoma and were analyzed for outcome of both primary tumors. The costs associated with both approaches were estimated in 1994 Canadian dollars (C$).


    With a median follow-up of 7.7 years in the surveillance patients, and 9.7 years in the adjuvant RT cohort, the 5 year actuarial survival for all patients was 97% and the cause-specific survival (CSS) was 99.8%. Of the 226 patients on surveillance 37 patients have relapsed to date; five of those developed a second relapse. One patient has died of disease. Of the 245 patients treated with adjuvant RT, 14 patients have relapsed and none had a second relapse. The CSS was 100%. Thirteen patients on surveillance (5.7%) and 10 patients treated with post-operative RT (4.1%) have received chemotherapy as part of their management. One hundred and eighty-nine patients on surveillance have received no post-orchidectomy treatment to date. Surveillance was more expensive with an average additional cost per patient per year of Can$2620 over 10 years.


    Both adjuvant RT and surveillance give excellent results in stage I seminoma. The documented increased risk of second malignant tumors following RT must be taken into account when considering the additional cost of surveillance. The routine use of post-operative RT in stage I seminoma should be reconsidered and a surveillance program offered to all patients as an alternative management option.