To investigate whether the use of pre-orchiectomy instead of pre-chemotherapy tumor marker (TM) levels has an impact on the International Germ Cell Consensus Classification (IGCCCG) risk group assignment in patients with metastatic germ cell tumors (GCT).
Demographic and clinical information of all patients treated for primary metastatic testicular non-seminomatous GCT in our tertiary care academic center were extracted from medical charts. IGCCCG risk group assignment was correctly performed with pre-chemotherapy marker levels and additionally with pre-orchiectomy marker levels. Agreement between pre-chemotherapy and pre-orchiectomy risk group assignments was assessed using Cohen's kappa.
Our cohort consisted of 83 patients. The use of pre-orchiectomy TMs resulted in an IGCCCG risk group upstaging in 12 patients (16%, 8 patients from good to intermediate risk and 4 patients from intermediate to poor risk) and a downstaging in 1 patient (1.2%, from intermediate- to good-risk). The agreement between pre-orchiectomy and pre-chemotherapy IGCCCG risk groups resulted in a Cohen's kappa of 0.888 (p < 0.001).
Using pre-orchiectomy TMs can result in incorrect IGCCCG risk group assignment, which in turn can impact on the clinical management and follow-up of patients with metastatic GCT. Thus, adherence to the IGCCCG standard using pre-chemotherapy TMs levels is recommended.