T Janowitz, S Welsh, AY Warren, J Robson, B Thomas, A Shaw, NL Ainsworth, DE Neal, D Mazhar
BMC Res Notes
BACKGROUND: Non-seminomatous germ cell tumours make up about 40 % of all germ cell tumours, which in turn are the most common tumours in men aged 15-44 years. Low risk stage I non-seminomatous germ cell tumours, which are confined to the testes, are commonly treated by orchiectomy and surveillance. Up to 20 % of patients with this diagnosis relapse, usually within 1-2 years of follow up, but very rarely after more than 5 years. The most common sites of relapse are the retroperitoneal lymph nodes, the mediastinum, and the lungs. We describe a case of relapse in the prostate over 20 years after initial diagnosis, which has not been described in the literature so far. CASE PRESENTATION: This report presents a 49-year-old white British man with relapsed testicular non-seminomatous germ cell tumour 22 years after initial treatment with orchidectomy only. He relapsed with a prostatic mass, haematospermia and back pain. His prostate specific antigen levels were within normal range. Alpha feto-protein and lactate dehydrogenase levels were elevated, and his human chorionic gonadotrophin levels were normal. A biopsy confirmed undifferentiated malignant tumour, shown immunohistochemically to be a yolk sac tumour. The patient was initially treated with bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin chemotherapy, but developed bleomycin-related pulmonary side effects after two cycles. His treatment was changed and he completed four cycles of chemotherapy by receiving two cycles of etoposide, ifosfamide, and cisplatin. Post treatment blood tumour markers were normal, but a follow up computed tomography showed a mass in the base of the prostate, the trigone and the left distal ureter which was surgically resected. The histology from the surgical resection was of necrotic tissue. The patient is now in follow up at 3 years after treatment with no evidence of residual disease on computed tomography. His Alpha feto-protein, beta human chorionic gonadotrophin and lactate dehydrogenase levels are normal. CONCLUSIONS: Very late relapse in stage I non-seminomatous germ cell tumours is extremely rare and the prostate is a highly unusual site of relapsed disease. For diagnosis of late relapse, this case confirms the value of serum biomarkers in germ cell tumours, in particular non-seminomatous germ cell tumours.