Aim: This study aimed to determine whether patients with stage 1 testicular non seminomatous germ cell tumours (NSGCT) with high vascular density have a greater risk of disease recurrence than those with a low vascular density.
Methods and results: Orchidectomy specimens from 42 patients with stage 1 NSGCT, treated by orchidectomy and surveillance alone, were studied. Vessel density was counted in tumour sections immunohistochemically stained for CD34. The mean of the three highest counts (x250, field size 0.67 mm2) for each tumour was used. Tumour vessel density was very similar for relapsing and non relapsing patients. Vascular invasion was the only variable significantly predictive of disease recurrence at 2 years post-orchidectomy (P = 0.025). There was wide variation of vessel counts between different blocks of a tumour, compared with interobserver variation. The tumour tissue type in the area of highest vessel density was embryonal carcinoma in 50% and teratoma (mature or immature) in 38%.
Conclusions: We confirmed the value of vascular invasion as a prognostic marker in stage 1 NSGCT. Tumour vessel density was of no prognostic value. Two factors may contribute to this. First, there was wide variation of vessel density between different blocks of a tumour. Second, the most vascular area in a tumour was frequently in low-grade tumour.