The changing distribution of stage in nonseminomatous testicular germ cell tumours, from 1977 to 1996

DJA Sonneveld, HJ Hoekstra*, WTA Van Der Graaf, WJ Sluiter, DT Sleijfer, H. Schraffordt Koops

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Objective. To determine the changes between 1977 and 1996 in the distribution of stages of testicular cancer (TC).

    Patients and methods. The stage distribution was assessed, using various classifications, i.e. the Royal Marsden (RM), Indiana, European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group (IGCCCG) and the Medical Research Council (MRC), in 517 patients with nonseminomatous testicular germ cell tumours (NSTGCTs) diagnosed at a single institution between 1977 and 1996.

    Results. The number of patients in four consecutive 5-year periods (1977-81, 1982-86, 1987-91, 1992-96) was 119, 141, 141, and 116, respectively, Frequency analyses showed a significant increase of RM stage I, in proportion to stage II-IV, in 1982-86 (55%, odds ratio, OR, 2.54), 1987-91 (53%, OR 2.33) and 1992-96 (61%, OR 3.24) compared to the period 1977-81 (33%). A separate analysis of patients with disseminated disease showed a proportionate significant decrease of RM stage II in 1992-96 (29%, OR 0.43) compared with 1977-81 (49%). There was also a relative decrease of good-prognosis patients with disseminated disease in 1992-96 compared with 1977-81, using analyses of the Indiana (from 56% to 33%, OR 0.39) and EORTC classification (from 78% to 56%, OR 0.36). Analyses of the IGCCCG and MRC classification showed a significant decrease of good-prognosis patients in the 1982-86 compared with the first 5-year period (for IGCCCG, from 54% to 35%, OR 0.46, and for MRC, from 43% to 24%, OR 0.42).

    Conclusion. The stage distribution of NSTGCT over the past two decades has changed. The proportion of stage I patients has increased since the early 1980s, apparently resulting from a shift of low-extent disseminated disease to stage I disease. This finding is relevant in reducing the treatment required in a higher proportion of patients and the subsequent reduction of long-term risk from treatment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)68-74
    Number of pages7
    JournalBJU International
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jul-1999


    • testicular cancer
    • nonseminoma
    • stage distribution
    • delay in diagnosis
    • prognostic factor
    • patient education
    • CANCER
    • TUMORS
    • DELAY

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