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Testicular Germ-Cell Neoplasms: Recent Advances in Diagnosis and Therapy

TOM ANDERSON, M.D.; THOMAS A. WALDMANN, M.D.; NASSER JAVADPOUR, M.D.; and ELI GLATSTEIN, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Tom Anderson, M.D.; Senior Investigator, Medicine Branch, Clinical Oncology Program, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health; Building 10, Room 12N226, 9000 Rockville Pike; Bethesda, Md 20014.


Bethesda, Maryland


Ann Intern Med. 1979;90(3):373-385. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-90-3-373
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The diagnosis and treatment of testicular neoplasms have been facilitated by identification of the tumor-associated proteins alpha-fetoprotein and human chorionic gonadotropin. These circulating tumor markers, present in 85% to 90% of patients with nonseminomatous testicular cancer, reflect tumor presence and reliably indicate response to therapy. Alpha-fetoprotein is produced by embryonal carcinoma and yolk-sac tumors; human chorionic gonadotropin is produced by syncytiotrophoblastic giant cells and the syncytiotrophoblastic component of choriocarcinoma. Refinements in staging techniques and definitions have improved prognostication. Effective therapy for seminoma (cure rate, greater than 90%), early-stage (stage I, stage IIN1-2) testicular carcinoma (cure rate, 65% to 87%), and advanced (stage IIN3-4, stage III) testicular carcinoma (complete remission rate, 50% to 74%) has been shown in clinical trials. Adjuvant chemotherapy/radiotherapy trials for limited stages of testicular carcinoma, and further experience with intensive chemotherapy-based trials for advanced stages may further improve the prognosis for all testicular germ-cell neoplasms.

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