Testicular Cancer Survivorship

Authors: Chunkit Fung MD, MS a , Paul C. Dinh Jr MPH b , c , Sophie D. Fossa MD, PhD d and Lois B. Travis MD, ScD b
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  • a University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York;
  • b Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, Indianapolis, Indiana;
  • c Department of Epidemiology, Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana; and
  • d Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
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Testicular cancer (TC) is the most common cancer among men aged 18 to 39 years. It is highly curable, with a 10-year relative survival approaching 95% due to effective cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Given the increasing incidence of TC and improved survival, TC survivors (TCS) now account for approximately 4% of all US male cancer survivors. They have also become a valuable cohort for adult-onset cancer survivorship research, given their prolonged survival. Commensurately, long-term treatment-related complications have emerged as important survivorship issues. These late effects include life-threatening conditions, such as second malignant neoplasms and cardiovascular disease. Moreover, TCS can also experience hearing loss, tinnitus, neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, pulmonary toxicity, hypogonadism, infertility, anxiety, depression, cognitive impairment, and chronic cancer-related fatigue. Characterization of the number and severity of long-term adverse health outcomes among TCS remains critical to develop risk-stratified, evidence-based follow-up guidelines and to inform the development of preventive measures and interventions. In addition, an improved understanding of the long-term effects of TC treatment on mortality due to noncancer causes and second malignant neoplasms remains paramount. Future research should focus on the continued development of large, well-characterized clinical cohorts of TCS for lifelong follow-up. These systematic, comprehensive approaches can provide the needed infrastructure for further investigation of long-term latency patterns of various medical and psychosocial morbidities and for more in-depth studies investigating associated etiopathogenetic pathways. Studies examining premature physiologic aging may also serve as new frontiers in TC survivorship research.

Submitted July 20, 2019; accepted for publication October 14, 2019.

Disclosures: The authors have disclosed that they have no financial interests, arrangements, or affiliations with the manufacturers of any products discussed in this article or their competitors.

Correspondence: Lois B. Travis, MD, ScD, Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, 535 Barnhill Drive, RT433, Indianapolis, IN 46202. Email: lbtravis@iu.edu

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