Phase 2 Single-arm Trial of Primary Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection in Patients with Seminomatous Testicular Germ Cell Tumors with Clinical Stage IIA/B (PRIMETEST)

Eur Urol. 2023 Jul;84(1):25-31. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2022.10.021. Epub 2022 Nov 10.


Background: Primary retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) for clinical stage (CS) IIA/B seminoma without adjuvant treatment is an experimental treatment to avoid radiotherapy- or chemotherapy-related toxicity from standard treatment.

Objective: The PRIMETEST trial aimed to prospectively evaluate the oncological efficacy and surgical safety of primary RPLND.

Design, setting, and participants: PRIMETEST is a single-arm, single-center prospective phase 2 trial. Patients with seminoma, unilateral retroperitoneal lymph node metastases <5 cm, and human chorionic gonadotropin levels <5 mU/ml were included. Patients with CS IIA/B seminoma at initial diagnosis, and recurrence under active surveillance or following adjuvant carboplatin for CS I disease were eligible.

Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Unilateral open or robot-assisted primary RPLND was performed. The primary endpoint of the study was progression-free survival (PFS) after 36 mo. The trial was considered positive if <30% of patients experienced a recurrence.

Results and limitations: Between 2016 and 2021, 33 patients were accrued (nine with primary CS IIA/B, 19 recurrences during active surveillance, and five recurrences following adjuvant carboplatin). Thirteen and 20 patients had CS IIA and IIB, respectively. Open and robot-assisted RPLND procedures were performed in 14 (42%) and 19 (58%) patients, respectively. After a median follow-up of 32 mo (interquartile range 23-46), ten recurrences were detected (30%, 95% confidence interval: 16-49%); thus, the primary endpoint was not met. Infield recurrences occurred in three of ten patients. The current analysis of risk factors could not identify the predictors of recurrence. Three of 33 patients (9%) presented with pN0.

Conclusions: The PRIMETEST trial did not meet its primary endpoint. Nevertheless, PFS of 70% after a median follow-up of 32 mo suggests this approach to be of interest for highly selected patients. Selection criteria, however, need to be defined and validated in a larger prospective cohort of patients. Until then, surgery alone for the treatment of patients with CS IIA/B seminoma cannot be recommended outside of a clinical trial setting.

Patient summary: In this study, we investigated primary surgery as an alternative to conventional treatment (chemotherapy or radiation therapy) in patients with metastatic seminoma. The primary objective of the study, to prevent at least 30% of patients from recurrence, was not met. However, certain patients may benefit from this approach and thereby avoid chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Predictive factors need to be analyzed to better select patients for this surgery-only approach.

Keywords: Germ cell cancer; Metastatic; Retroperitoneal surgery; Seminoma; Stage II; Testicular.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II

MeSH terms

  • Carboplatin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lymph Node Excision / adverse effects
  • Lymph Node Excision / methods
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seminoma* / surgery
  • Testicular Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Testicular Neoplasms* / surgery


  • Carboplatin

Supplementary concepts

  • Testicular Germ Cell Tumor