Postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (PC-RPLND) for seminoma: Limitations of surgical intervention after first-line chemotherapy

Isamu Tachibana*, Andre Alabd, Rumeal D. Whaley, Jacob McFadden, Alex Piroozi, Rebecca Hassoun, Sean Q. Kern, Jennifer King, Nabil Adra, Kevin R. Rice, Richard S. Foster, Lawrence H. Einhorn, Clint Cary, Timothy A. Masterson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Patients with relapsed seminoma after first-line chemotherapy can be treated with salvage chemotherapy or postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (PC-RPLND). Based on prior experience, surgical management can have worse efficacy and increased morbidity compared to nonseminomatous germ cell tumor. Our aim was to characterize the surgical efficacy and difficulty in highly selected patients with residual disease after first-line chemotherapy. Materials and methods: The Indiana University testis cancer database was queried to identify men who underwent PC-RPLND for seminoma between January 2011 and December 2021. Included patients underwent first-line chemotherapy and had evidence of retroperitoneal disease progression. Results: We identified 889 patients that underwent PC-RPLND, of which only 14 patients were operated on for seminoma. One patient was excluded for lack of follow-up. Out of 13 patients, only 3 patients were disease free with surgery only. Median follow up time was 29.9 months (interquartile ranges : 22.6–53.7). Two patients died of disease. The remaining 8 patients were treated successfully with salvage chemotherapy. During PC-RPLND, 4 patients required nephrectomy, 1 patient required an aortic graft, 2 patients required a partial ureterectomy, and 3 patients required partial or complete caval resection. Conclusion: The decision between salvage chemotherapy and PC-RPLND as second-line therapy can be challenging. Salvage chemotherapy is effective but is associated with short and long-term morbidity. Surgical efficacy in this setting seems to be limited, but careful selection of patients may lead to surgical success without affecting the ability to receive any systemic salvage therapies if necessary or causing life-threating morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394.e1-394.e6
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection
  • Residual disease after first-line chemotherapy
  • Seminoma
  • Testicular cancer


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