For men who undergo surgery for Stage I seminoma, surveillance appears to be a safe alternative to immediate chemotherapy or radiation therapy. These results were presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Seminoma is a common form of testicular cancer. After surgery for early-stage (Stage I) disease, men may undergo either surveillance or additional treatment with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Surveillance allows many men to avoid the side effects of additional treatment, but it’s important to establish that it’s a safe alternative to immediate chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

To assess the safety of surveillance, researchers in Denmark evaluated 1,822 men with Stage I seminoma who were followed with surveillance alone. In this study, surveillance involved five years of regularly scheduled physical exams, chest x-rays, CT scans, and blood tests. The men were followed for a median of 15 years.

  • 19.5% of men experienced a relapse. These men were treated with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or surgery.
  • 10-year seminoma survival was 99.6%. In other words, for every 1,000 men with Stage I seminoma who undergo surveillance, only 4 die of their disease within 10 years.
  • Factors that were linked with a higher risk of relapse included larger tumor size, spread to blood or lymphatic vessels, and high blood levels of human chorionic gonadotropin.

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These results demonstrate that surveillance is a safe option after surgery for Stage I seminoma.

Reference: Mortensen MS, Gundgaard MG, Lauritsen J et al. A nationwide cohort study of surveillance for stage I seminoma. Presented at the 49th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. May 31-June 4, 2013; Chicago, IL. Abstract 4502.

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