- OBJECTIVE: To characterize clinical and pathologic outcomes of cisplatin-refractory or relapsed germ cell tumor (GCT) patients who underwent retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) following salvage chemotherapy with either conventional or high dose regimens. METHODS: Data were reviewed to identify all patients treated with TIP or TICE salvage chemotherapy between 1994 and 2011(n = 184) at our institution. We report clinicopathologic and outcomes data on 131 patients who were further managed with surgical resection. Using Cox-proportional hazards models, predictors of disease-specific survival (DSS) were analyzed. RESULTS: Median follow-up was 7.3 years. Of the 112 patients who underwent postsalvage chemotherapy RPLND, histology was reported as viable GCT in 30 (27%), teratoma only in 26 (23%) and fibrosis in 56 (50%). 5-year DSS for the entire cohort was 74% (95% confidence interval 63%-80%). On multivariable analysis, viable GCT histology at RPLND or extra-RPLND resection predicted for worse DSS (hazard ratio 7.37, P = .003). CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that approximately half of the patient with cisplatin-refractory or relapsed GCT salvaged with TIP or TICE chemotherapy and evidence of residual disease are at risk of harboring either viable GCT or teratoma. This finding underlines the critical role of surgery in the multimodality approach to the management of this advanced disease entity. If retroperitoneal disease exists prior to salvage chemotherapy, we recommend postchemotherapy resection in all eligible patients.