Non–Guideline-concordant Treatment of Testicular Cancer Is Associated With Reduced Relapse-free Survival

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Abstract

Introduction

The management of testicular cancer (TC) requires a complex multimodal therapeutic approach. Despite the availability of regularly updated guidelines, non–guideline-concordant treatment of TC still occurs. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the compliance patterns in diagnosis and therapy and their potential effects on patient outcomes with respect to the guidelines of the European Association of Urology.

Patients and Methods

We performed a retrospective analysis of 131 patients diagnosed with TC who had been referred to our department from September 2015 to October 2016. Patient characteristics were compared with European Association of Urology guideline recommendations.

Results

Of the 131 primary treated patients, 23 (18%) had received a non–guideline-concordant treatment. The most common error was undertreatment (n = 12; 52%), mainly due to missing chemotherapy cycles. Overtreatment occurred in 30% of patients (n = 7); however, inappropriate treatment (n = 2; 9%) and misdiagnosis (n = 2; 9%) were rarely observed. In salvage therapy, non–guideline concordant treatment was observed less frequently compared to patients receiving primary therapy (12% vs. 18%). Of the 131 patients, 35 developed a relapse, 23 of whom were treated correctly and 6 of whom were undertreated. Undertreatment of patients resulted in significantly reduced relapse-free survival compared with guideline-concordant management in primary treated patients (P = .005).

Conclusion

Despite the standardization of treatment by interdisciplinary guidelines, its integration into daily practice remains limited. Undertreatment of TC patients is associated with significantly reduced relapse-free survival and should thus be avoided.

Micro-Abstract

The treatment of testicular cancer (TC) requires a multimodal approach. We retrospectively evaluated the diagnostic work-up, treatment, and outcomes of 131 patients with respect to the European Association of Urology guidelines. Of 131 patients, 18% had received non–guideline-concordant treatment, with undertreatment having a negative effect on relapse-free survival. Thus, implementation of guidelines is needed to decrease the mortality of TC.

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