Background: The high curability of clinical stage I nonseminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCTs) and the availability of equally effective management options (retroperitoneal lymph node dissection [RPLND] and surveillance) allows for treatment decisions based on secondary end points, including short- and long-term toxicity and cost relative to benefit. The purpose of this study was to perform cost-benefit and risk-benefit analyses of management options in clinical stage I NSGCT using data from the literature and Indiana University. Methods: The overall costs for 100 patients undergoing a primary RPLND were compared with the total costs of 100 patients managed by surveillance for clinical stage I disease. These two options were then analyzed in terms of survival, late relapse, acute and chronic toxicity (including fertility), and perioperative morbidity. Results: The overall costs of these two approaches were essentially identical. The two options were similar in terms of survival, although RPLND demonstrated superiority in terms of fertility, toxicity, and late relapse. Conclusions: The choice of nerve-sparing RPLND or surveillance in a clinical stage I NSGCT patient cannot be made on the basis of cost as a discriminator. Instead, the decision should be made based on patient desires, physician expertise, biological predictors, and short- and long-term toxicity.
- Cost-benefit analysis
- Late relapse fertility
- Nonseminomatous germ cell tumors
- Risk-benefit analysis
- Testis cancer