Objective: Updated Recommendations for the management of testicular germ cell cancer.
Materials and methods: Comprehensive review of the literature on PubMed since 2020 concerning the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of testicular germ cell cancer (TGCT), and the safety of treatments. The level of evidence of the references was evaluated.
Results: The initial work-up for patients with testicular germ cell cancer is based on a clinical examination, biochemical (AFP, total hCG and LDH serum markers) and radiological assessment (scrotal ultrasound and thoracic-abdominal-pelvic [TAP] CT). Inguinal orchiectomy is the first therapeutic step whereby the histological diagnosis can be made, and the local stage and risk factors for stage I non-seminomatous germ cell tumours (NSGCT) can be determined. For patients with pure stage-I seminoma, the risk of progression is 15 to 20%. Therefore, surveillance in compliant patients is preferable; adjuvant chemotherapy with carboplatin AUC 7 is an option; and indications for para-aortic radiotherapy are limited. For patients with stage I NSGCT, there are various options between surveillance and a risk-adapted strategy (surveillance or 1 cycle of BEP [Bleomycin Etoposide Cisplatin] depending on the absence or presence of vascular emboli within the tumour). Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for staging has a very limited role. The treatment for metastatic TGCT is BEP chemotherapy in the absence of any contraindication to bleomycin, for which the number of cycles is determined according to the prognostic risk group of the International Germ Cell Cancer Consortium Group (IGCCCG). Para-aortic radiotherapy is still a standard in stage IIA seminomatous germ cell tumours (SGCT). After chemotherapy, the size of residual masses should be assessed by TAP scan for NSGCT: retroperitoneal lymph node dissection is recommended for any residual mass of more than 1 cm, and all other metastatic sites should be excised. For SGCT, reassessment by 18F-FDG PET is required to specify the surgical indication for residual masses>3cm. Surgery is still rare in these situations.
Conclusion: By adhering to TGCT management recommendations, excellent disease-specific survival rates are achieved; 99% for stage I and over 85% for metastatic stages.
Keywords: BEP; Cancer du testicule; Chemotherapy; Chimiothérapie; Curage ganglionnaire rétro péritonéal; Orchidectomie; Orchidectomy; Radiotherapy; Radiothérapie; Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection; Testicular cancer.
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