Objective: To evaluate prospectively renal function in patients with malignant germ-cell tumours (MGCTs) >10 years after retroperitoneal lymph node dissection alone (RPLND), radiotherapy alone (RAD) or different schedules of cisplatin-based chemotherapy with or without surgery/radiotherapy (CHEM).
Patients and methods: In 85 patients, three groups were identified: RPLND, 14; RAD, 18; CHEM, 53, with subdivision of the latter group according to the cumulative cisplatin dose or the additional use of radiotherapy. Renal function was determined by 131Iodine Hippuran clearance or 99m DTPA glomerular filtration rate, and was assessed before treatment and four times during 14 years of follow-up. A value of <70% of the upper limit of the normal range identified impaired renal function.
Results: Twenty-five patients displayed long-term impaired renal function, 23 of them from the RAD or CHEM group. In the RAD group, renal function decreased by 8%, whereas a 14% reduction of renal function was observed in the CHEM group. In the CHEM group the cumulative dose of cisplatin, and in the RAD group the age at treatment, were associated with impairment of renal function. Combining all patients, age at treatment and the type of treatment were associated with impaired renal function.
Conclusions: In 20-30% of the patients with germ-cell tumour, standard radiotherapy and chemotherapy strategies are followed by long-term subclinical impaired renal function. These findings support current intentions to avoid overtreatment with these treatment modalities.