Surgery in Early Metastatic Seminoma: A Phase II Trial of Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection for Testicular Seminoma With Limited Retroperitoneal Lymphadenopathy

J Clin Oncol. 2023 Jun 1;41(16):3009-3018. doi: 10.1200/JCO.22.00624. Epub 2023 Mar 13.


Purpose: The long-term toxicities of chemotherapy and radiotherapy can represent a significant burden to testicular cancer survivors. Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) is an established treatment for testicular germ cell tumors with minimal late morbidity although little data exist on its efficacy in early metastatic seminoma. Surgery in early metastatic seminoma is a prospective phase II single-arm, multi-institutional trial of RPLND as first-line treatment for testicular seminoma with clinically low-volume retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy.

Patients and methods: Twelve sites in the United States and Canada prospectively enrolled adult patients with testicular seminoma and isolated retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy (1-3 cm). Open RPLND was performed by certified surgeons with a primary end point of 2-year recurrence-free survival (RFS). Complication rates, pathologic up/downstaging, recurrence patterns, adjuvant therapies, and treatment-free survival were assessed.

Results: A total of 55 patients were enrolled, with a median (IQR) largest clinical lymph node size of 1.6 cm (1.3-1.9). RPLND pathology demonstrated a median (IQR) largest lymph node size of 2.3 cm (0.9-3.5); nine patients (16%) were pN0, 12 (22%) pN1, 31 (56%) pN2, and 3 (5%) pN3. One patient received adjuvant chemotherapy. With a median (IQR) follow-up of 33 months (12.0-61.6), 12 patients experienced recurrence, with a 2-year RFS of 81% and a recurrence rate of 22%. Of the patients who experienced recurrence, 10 were treated with chemotherapy and two underwent additional surgery. At last follow-up, all patients who experienced a recurrence were disease-free and the 2-year overall survival was 100%. Four patients (7%) experienced short-term complications, and four patients experienced long-term complications including incisional hernia (1) and anejaculation (3).

Conclusion: RPLND is a treatment option for testicular seminoma with clinically low-volume retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy and is associated with low long-term morbidity.

Trial registration: NCT02537548.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Lymph Node Excision / adverse effects
  • Lymphadenopathy* / etiology
  • Lymphadenopathy* / pathology
  • Lymphadenopathy* / surgery
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal* / pathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retroperitoneal Space / pathology
  • Retroperitoneal Space / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seminoma* / surgery
  • Testicular Neoplasms* / surgery

Supplementary concepts

  • Testicular Germ Cell Tumor

Associated data