Objective: To determine the pathologic findings and clinical outcome of patients with pure embryonal carcinoma (EC) of the testis who were diagnosed with testis cancer from January 1989 to January 2013 who underwent an orchiectomy, cisplatin-based chemotherapy and a postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (PC-RPLND). Methods: We compared those patients with 100% EC with those with mixed nonseminomatous germ cell tumor pathology who underwent a PC-RPLND. Results: Of 1105 patients who underwent a PC-RPLND, 145 had pure EC. Twenty-six percent of patients presented with metastatic disease outside the retroperitoneum. Patients with mixed histologies tended to have worse International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group risk compared to those with EC at orchiectomy (P =.037). Histology at PC-RPLND revealed fibrosis or necrosis in 76%, mature teratoma in 19% and viable cancer in 4%. Over one-third of the patients had a residual mass of <1 cm prior to RPLND; of whom 15% harbored mature teratoma in PC-RPLND histology. The Kaplan–Meier estimated probability of recurrence at 5 years of follow-up was 3.1% (95% CI 1.2%, 8.0%) for EC histology, 7.3% lower than mixed histology. For cancer-specific mortality, the Kaplan–Meier estimated probability at 5 years was 4.6% (95% CI 3.3%, 6.3%) and 1.7% (95% CI 0.4%, 6.8%) for mixed and pure EC histologies, respectively. Conclusion: Approximately 20% of patients with pure EC had teratoma at PC-RPLND. We have shown that those with a maximum node size of <1 cm should not be precluded from RPLND.
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