Clinical Stage IIA-IIC Seminoma: Radiation Therapy versus Systemic Chemotherapy versus Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection

Oncol Res Treat. 2018;41(6):360-363. doi: 10.1159/000489408. Epub 2018 May 16.


Background: Clinical stage II (CSII) seminoma is defined by the presence of pure seminoma accompanied by retroperitoneal lymph node metastases. In patients with bulky disease (lymph nodes > 5 cm in diameter), platinum-based chemotherapy is the widely accepted standard of care. However, the optimal choice of treatment for CSIIA and IIB is more controversial.

Methods: We performed a PubMed search using the key words stage II seminoma, BEP (cisplatin, etoposide, and bleomycin), hockey-stick radiotherapy, dog-leg radiotherapy and retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. Most relevant publications were summarized for this review.

Results: To date, no randomized trials have prospectively compared radiotherapy (RT), chemotherapy (CT) and retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RLND) for CSII seminoma. Because of the predominantly retrospective analyses and only few prospective trials data interpretation is complex. In CSIIA with lymph nodes of < 2 cm, RT and CT seem to be equally effective, while in CSIIB, a decreased number of relapses were observed in CT-treated patients. In addition, RT seems to be associated with a higher incidence of long-term sequelae when compared with CT.

Conclusion: Prospective clinical trials are needed to systematically compare the different treatment modalities. De-escalation of treatment intensity without loss of efficacy is required to improve long-term outcome for this young patient population.

Keywords: Cisplatin, etoposide, and bleomycin (BEP); Clinical stage II seminoma; Dog-leg radiotherapy; Hockey-stick radiotherapy; Long-term sequelae; Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Lymph Node Excision / methods*
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Radiotherapy / methods*
  • Retroperitoneal Space
  • Seminoma / pathology
  • Seminoma / therapy*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / pathology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / therapy*