Sequential excision of residual thoracic and retroperitoneal masses after chemotherapy for stage III germ cell tumors
Twenty-three patients with advanced (Stage III) mixed germ cell tumors underwent laparotomy and thoracotomy or neck dissection for excision of persistent radiographic masses after systemic chemotherapy. In those who received multidrug regimens incorporating high-dose cisplatin, 4 of 15 (27%) harbored persistent tumor in at least one site, 6 of 15 (40%) demonstrated necrotic tumor or fibrosis only in all sites examined, and the remaining 5 of 15 (33%) harbored mature teratoma in at least one area. In patients treated with high-dose platinum chemotherapy regimens 11 of 15 (73%) remain disease-free with a median follow-up period of 29 months (range, 1-58 months). Histologic comparison of tissues resected during thoracotomy and retroperitoneal node dissection indicated that patterns were dissimilar in 8 of 23 patients (35%). These data indicate the favorable impact of combined sequential chemotherapy and surgery in patients with advanced mixed germ cell tumors. In patients with Stage III tumors, persistent radiographic disease after cyclic cisplatin-based chemotherapy is appropriately managed by excision of both thoracic and retroperitoneal deposits.