Between 1989 and 1993, 97 patients with stages B3 and/or C nonseminomatous germ cell tumors of the testes underwent induction chemotherapy followed by retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. Of these patients 6 (ages 22 to 41 years) had gross extension of tumor into the aortic adventitia at operation, which necessitated en bloc aortic and, on 3 occasions, iliac artery resection for complete tumor removal. Aortic continuity was restored by a woven Dacron tube or bifurcated graft. All grafts were covered with omentum. There were no postoperative vascular complications. Pathological study of the residual retroperitoneal disease demonstrated that 2 patients had mature teratoma only, 2 had mature teratoma with occasional nests of immature teratoma and 2 had residual yolk sac, embryonal or choriocarcinoma elements. The latter 3 patients underwent postoperative salvage chemotherapy with varying combinations of bleomycin, etoposide, ifosfamide and cisplatin. At 4 to 55 months 4 patients were disease-free, while 2 died of metastatic disease. No problems related to the aortic reconstruction have occurred. This small experience demonstrates that, if necessary, complete surgical en bloc extirpation of bulky metastatic germ cell tumors and the aorta/iliac artery can be performed safely with a satisfactory long-term outcome.
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