Pulmonary metastasectomy for testicular germ cell tumors: A 28-year experience

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The role of surgery in patients with pulmonary metastatic germ cell tumors has been evolving since the 1970s. To evaluate the results of pulmonary resection, we reviewed our 28-year experience.


Between July 1967 and May 1995, 157 patients with testicular germ cell tumors underwent pulmonary resections for suspected metastases. Their clinical and pathological data were reviewed. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression models were used to analyze prognostic factors for survival after resection of metastatic disease.


All patients were male with median age of 27 years (range 15–65). Complete resection was accomplished in 155 (99%) patients. Viable carcinoma was present in 44% (70) of the patients. Forty-one (26%) patients had metastases to other sites after pulmonary metastasectomy. The overall actuarial survival 5 years after pulmonary resection was 68% for the entire group and 82% for patients diagnosed after 1985. On multivariate analysis, the adverse prognostic factors were metastases to nonpulmonary visceral sites (p = 0.0069) and the presence of viable carcinoma in the resected specimen (p < 0.0001).


With current chemotherapy regimens, almost 85% of the patients with testicular germ cell tumors undergoing complete resection of their pulmonary metastases can be expected to achieve long-term survival.

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