Surgical Management of Cervical Non-seminomatous Germ Cell Tumor Metastases


Objective/hypothesis: Testicular cancer is the most common malignancy of young males. Limited reports describe perioperative and long-term outcomes after surgical resection of metastatic, cervical, non-seminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCT). The objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness and safety of cervical lymphadenectomy in the management of metastatic NSGCT.

Study design: Retrospective case series.

Methods: A single institution, retrospective review from 1998 to 2020 of patients with metastatic NSGCT who underwent cervical lymphadenectomy was conducted. Clinicopathological, surgical, and postoperative data were collected and analyzed.

Results: Sixty-eight predominantly white (91.0%) male patients with mean age 33.0 ± 11.3 years were included. Most (82.2%) presented with stage III disease at initial diagnosis. All patients had undergone primary platinum-based chemotherapy 1.0 to 22.7 months prior to selective ND. Surgery mainly involved nodal levels III (67.6%), IV (92.6%) and/or Vb (77.9%) and was frequently performed with concomitant thoracoabdominal NSGCT resections (63.2%). Cervical specimens predominantly revealed mature teratoma (83.8%) as solitary (69.1%) or component of mixed (14.7%) NSGCT. Ten (14.7%) perioperative complications occurred as vocal cord paresis (n = 6) from thoracic surgery and chyle leakage (n = 4). All resolved conservatively except two vocal cord paralyzes that required surgical repair due to tumor involvement of vagus nerve. Six instances of cervical recurrence occurred at median 12.5 (range, 5.8-38.6) months from ND, all re-demonstrating purely mature teratoma. The two-year cervical, non-cervical, and overall recurrence-free survivals were 83%, 55%, and 55%, respectively. Two-year disease-free and overall survivals were both 93%.

Conclusions: Selective neck dissection is a safe, effective method for managing cervical NSGCT metastases.