Outcomes After Resection of Postchemotherapy Residual Neck Mass in Patients With Germ Cell Tumors—An Update
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OBJECTIVE: To examine histologic findings and clinical outcomes of patients who underwent neck dissection for residual neck masses. METHODS: From 1987 to 2008, 968 postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissections (RPLND) were performed at our institution. We identified 41 of these patients who underwent a postchemotherapy residual neck mass resection. RESULTS: Thirty-nine patients presented with primary testis, one with retroperitoneal, and one with mediastinal GCT. Teratoma was present in 54% of patients at diagnosis. During the neck dissection, 23 (56.1%) patients had teratoma, 14 (34.2%) had fibrosis, three (7.3%) had viable GCT, and one had benign lymph nodes. There was histologic discordance between the neck and the RPLND in 22.5% of patients and between the neck and other extraretroperitoneal resection sites in 26.5% of patients. At a median follow-up of 49.5 months from diagnosis, 16 patients had recurrence, and seven had died of testis cancer. No patient had recurrence in the neck. Five of seven patients with residual viable cancer at extraretroperitoneal resection sites died of disease compared with two of 23 with teratoma and none with fibrosis (P = .0005). CONCLUSIONS: Resection of residual postchemotherapy neck masses is indicated because of the high incidence of viable tumor or teratoma in the residual mass and the inability to accurately predict the histology of the neck masses. Resection of residual neck masses leads to excellent local control and can contribute to long-term disease control and survival.
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