▪ Objective: To assess cardiovascular risk factors over time in patients who received chemotherapy for disseminated testicular cancer and were apparently cured.
▪ Design: Cohort study.
▪ Setting: Referral center.
▪ Patients: Fifty-seven consecutive patients (median age, 28 years; range, 16 to 43 years) who received cisplatin-containing chemotherapy between 1978 and 1985.
▪ Measurements: Serum cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, kidney function, and hormonal status were monitored during follow-up after chemotherapy (median follow-up, 88 months; range, 56 to 143 months). The BMI and cholesterol values obtained 4 to 6 years after chemotherapy were compared with values from a sample of healthy, age-matched Dutch men; the cholesterol level was also compared with that of 31 patients treated with orchidectomy for stage I disease.
▪ Results:The mean cholesterol level in patients at the start of chemotherapy was 3.96 ± 0.98 mmol/L [153 ± 38 mg/dL], increasing 4 to 6 years later to 6.12 ± 1.20 mmol/L [237 ± 46 mg/dL] (P < 0.001); 49 of 57 patients had an elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level (> 3.4 mmol/L [130 mg/dL]), with a mean level of 4.47 ± 1.05 mmol/L [173 ± 41 mg/dL]. Compared with a sample of healthy Dutch men, the chemotheraphy group had an elevated cholesterol level (P < 0.05). At 4 to 6 years, the mean HDL cholesterol level was 0.76 ± 0.18 mmol/L [29 ± 7 mg/dL], which was low compared with that of the healthy Dutch men (P < 0.05). The mean BMI for all patients was 2.8% higher than expected 4 to 6 years after chemotherapy (P< 0.01) but was not higher than expected 7 to 10 years after chemotherapy.
▪ Conclusions: In addition to other known late side effects of chemotherapy in patients with testicular cancer, hypexrcholesterolemia and overweight might represent risk factors for cardiovascular disease in such patients, especially in those who are younger.