Reporting and Staging of Testicular Germ Cell Tumors: The International Society of Urological Pathology (ISUP) Testicular Cancer Consultation Conference Recommendations

Am J Surg Pathol. 2017 Jun;41(6):e22-e32. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0000000000000844.


The International Society of Urological Pathology held a conference devoted to issues in testicular and penile pathology in Boston in March 2015, which included a presentation and discussion led by the testis microscopic features working group. This conference focused on controversies related to staging and reporting of testicular tumors and was preceded by an online survey of the International Society of Urological Pathology members. The survey results were used to initiate discussions, but decisions were made by expert consensus rather than voting. A number of recommendations emerged from the conference, including that lymphovascular invasion (LVI) should always be reported and no distinction need be made between lymphatic or blood invasion. If LVI is equivocal, then it should be regarded as negative to avoid triggering unnecessary therapy. LVI in the spermatic cord is considered as category pT2, not pT3, unless future studies provide contrary evidence. At the time of gross dissection, a block should be taken just superior to the epididymis to define the base of the spermatic cord, and direct invasion of tumor in this block indicates a category of pT3. Pagetoid involvement of the rete testis epithelium must be distinguished from rete testis stromal invasion, with only the latter being prognostically useful. Percentages of different tumor elements in mixed germ cell tumors should be reported. Although consensus was reached on many issues, there are still areas of practice that need further evidence on which to base firm recommendations.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lymph Node Excision
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / pathology*
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / surgery
  • Orchiectomy
  • Retroperitoneal Space
  • Testicular Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Testicular Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / surgery

Supplementary concepts

  • Testicular Germ Cell Tumor