Purpose: To assess the shifting population-level practice patterns across a 20-year time span in the management of stage I non-seminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCT).
Methods: Using the California Cancer Registry, we reviewed all patients with stage I NSGCT between 1988 and 2010. We determined their primary treatment and their overall rates across the years. Other analyzed variables included patient age, T stage, socioeconomic status, race, and year of diagnosis. Predictors of treatment were assessed using logistic regression analysis. Predictors of overall and CSS were assessed using Cox proportional hazards models.
Results: Three thousand nine hundred and sixty-one patients with stage I NSGCT were identified. The most common treatment was surveillance (48 %), followed by RPLND (26 %) and chemotherapy (24 %). Rates of surveillance increased from 35 % in 1988 to 61 % in 2010; rates of RPLND decreased from 44 % in 1988 to 10 % in 2010. These were significant changes in treatment strategies (p < 0.01). Significant predictors of undergoing surveillance included diagnosis after 2006 (OR 1.52, CI 1.25-1.84) and age at diagnosis >60 years old (OR 1.63, CI 1.19-5.82). With a median follow-up of 96 months, 5-year overall survival rate was 95 %.
Conclusions: Treatment patterns in the management of stage I NSGCT have shifted in the past two decades with an increased utilization of surveillance and concurrent decrease in use of RPLND. Surveillance is now the dominant strategy, potentially reflecting changes in perception of the oncologic safety and morbidity profile of such an approach.
Keywords: Clinical practice patterns; Non-seminomatous germ cell tumor; Survival; Testicular neoplasms.