Cervical lymph node dissection for metastatic testicular cancer

M. G. Van Vledder, J. A. Van Der Hage, W. J. Kirkels, J. W. Oosterhuis, C. Verhoef, J. H.W. De Wilt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction. Despite high response rates to systemic chemotherapy, 30% of patients with advanced stage testicular carcinoma will have extra- retroperitoneal residual masses that require resection. Most often, these are located in the lungs and mediastinum and neck. Limited data are available concerning the incidence, surgical management, and follow-up of neck metastasis arising from a testicular primary tumor. Methods. We retrospectively reviewed all 665 patients who were referred to a tertiary referral center with the diagnosis of testicular cancer from January 1997 to June 2009 for the presence of cervical metastases. Patients who underwent concomitant surgical therapy were identified and analyzed. Clinical and pathological data were collected from patient records, including radiology and pathology reports. Furthermore, data on primary treatment strategy, chemotherapeutic regimens, timing of surgical procedures, complications, disease recurrence, and follow-up were collected. Results. Twenty-six patients (4%) had cervical lymph node metastasis. The majority (n = 19) had multiple ERP sites. Nine patients (35%) underwent selective neck dissection: in six patients, this was indicated because of residual masses after chemotherapy, and in three patients, cervical masses represented a late and distant relapse of previously treated disease. Viable cancer cells were present in the resected specimen only in these three patients. Seven patients are currently without evidence of disease. Two patients died of disseminated disease. Conclusions. Cervical lymph node metastases originating from testicular cancer are rare but are more commonly observed in patients with advanced stage disease. Selective neck dissection can be safely performed both after chemotherapy and in the case of recurrent disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1682-1687
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


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