Testicular Cancer Treatment Options
 
City of Hope brings together highly skilled specialists and the latest treatment options – some found only here – for men in every stage of testicular cancer. Our multidisciplinary team includes urologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgical oncologists, who work cooperatively to create the most effective treatment plan and optimize outcomes for each patient with testicular cancer. Because City of Hope includes experts in all cancer specialties in one location, patients receive greater continuity of care and more coordinated treatment planning.
 

Surgery

City of Hope surgeons are among the most experienced in the country and have excellent success rates using a range of advanced technologies.  Many of the most complex cases of testicular cancer are sent to our specialists.

Minimally Invasive and Laparoscopic Surgery
Whenever possible, our testicular cancer patients are treated with minimally invasive techniques. These include laparoscopic surgery, which is performed using thin, flexible instruments that are inserted through small “keyhole” incisions.

City of Hope is also a leader in use of the new robotic-assisted da Vinci S Surgical System for the treatment of testicular cancer. Controlled by an experienced surgeon, the system combines extremely precise movements with three-dimensional imaging to achieve excellent surgical results.

Potential benefits of minimally invasive surgeries include:
  • Less blood loss, pain and visible incisions
  • Shorter hospital stays and recovery time
  • Fewer post-operative complications
  • Quicker return to normal activities
 
Surgical Procedures
 

Radical inguinal orchietomy
In nearly all of cases of suspected testicular cancer, the affected testicle is removed through an incision in the groin in a surgical procedure called radical inguinal orchietomy.  Men may be concerned that losing a testicle will affect their ability to have sexual intercourse or make them sterile. However, a man with one healthy testicle can still have a normal erection and produce sperm.
After a testicle is removal, the type of tumor subsequently identified on the pathology report combined with information gathered from X-rays or blood tests directs subsequent treatment.

Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND)
RPLND is a high-level complex surgery performed at City of Hope that only a limited number of centers will attempt. A urological surgeon performs this operation to remove the lymph nodes surrounding the great vessels in the abdomen. A pathologist then examines the lymph nodes under a microscope to determine whether the cancer has spread.

Radiation Therapy
Radiation has long been used to treat many kinds of cancers. In testicular cancer, radiation may be given to relieve pain, used in combination with chemotherapy as a treatment modality, or delivered after surgery to minimize the risk of recurrence.
Treatments in which beams of energy are directed at the tumor from an outside source are referred to as external beam radiation.  At City of Hope, external beam radiation treatments may include:
  • Three-dimensional conformal therapy
  • Helical TomoTherapy - Considered the most advanced radiation therapy available, Helical TomoTherapy allows doctors to target and destroy cancer cells very precisely while sparing healthy tissues nearby.
 

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy – the use of anticancer medicines – includes a wide range of drugs and treatment strategies. City of Hope provides standard chemotherapies as well as access to newly developed drugs through an extensive program of clinical trials. For instance, high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue/stem cell transplantation is a unique approach that has proven to be a very tolerable regimen with good efficacy for patients at more advanced stages of cancer. As part of the treatment team, a medical oncologist will evaluate the best options so that a course of chemotherapy, if appropriate, can be tailored to the patient.