Recommendations of follow-up after treatment of germ cell tumors
Patients diagnosed with germ cell tumors (GCT) are relatively young, and most are rendered disease-free by primary treatment. Also, second-line therapies in nearly all instances are potentially curative. Therefore, the schedule and modalities of follow-up testing are important issues in detecting recurrence of GCT and for detecting secondary malignancies and complications of therapy. Follow-up is usually based on the pattern and probability of recurrence following primary therapy according to stage and histology. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network has outlined guidelines (www.nccn.org/physician_gls/index.html). There is a paucity of randomized data regarding the follow-up regimens most effective in identifying relapsed disease. Optimal means of imaging and frequency of physician visits and serum marker level measurements need to be further addressed.