Article Abstract

Surgical salvage in patients with advanced testicular cancer: indications, risks and outcomes

Authors: Ryan W. Speir, Clint Cary, Timothy A. Masterson


The purpose of this review is to present a comprehensive and updated review of the literature and summary of the indications, risks and outcomes related to salvage, desperation and late relapse surgery for advanced testicular cancer. After completing a thorough review of the current literature, this review has attempted to provide an overview of the indications for salvage, desperation and late relapse retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) followed by a summary of the histopathologic and clinical outcomes regarding each. Recent literature, combined with a significant contribution from historical studies suggest that while testicular cancer is a relatively uncommon malignancy overall, it represents the most common solid organ malignancy for young men. Although a significant number of men are cured with a combination of first-line treatments, the remaining men are a diverse and often challenging cohort who require the benefit of expertise to improve their outcomes. The role of surgical strategies in the salvage, desperation and late relapse settings is unquestionable, although the most important question remains who will benefit. This often requires a multi-disciplinary approach at centers specializing in this disease process in order to recognize who should get surgery, what surgery to do and how to minimize the potential morbidity associated with the operation.