(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) UC Davis cancer researchers have found that older men with early-stage testicular cancer who opt for surveillance with regular CT scans over lymph node removal are at greater risk for secondary cancers. The findings, published online last week in the journal Cancer, indicate that physicians should consider the risk of new cancers with surveillance when discussing treatment options with their patients.
Along with a multi-disciplinary team of UC Davis researchers, Karim Chamie, a UC Davis urology resident at the time of the study, examined the cases of 7,301 men diagnosed between 1988 and 2006 with nonseminomatous germ cell tumor, the most common type of testicular cancer. Chamie and his colleagues wanted to know if, after initial surgery, frequent computed tomography (CT) imaging of men to check for new signs of the disease increased the rate of secondary tumor growth.
"This is the first study that I am aware of that shows that diagnostic CT scans cause cancer with statistical significance," said John Boone, professor in the Department of Radiology at UC Davis, study co-author and internationally known CT expert. "The organizations that recommend these protocols need to reevaluate this aggressive use of CT and maybe opt for MRI or ultrasound."
Chamie explained that men with stage-one testicular cancer are typically offered three choices of treatment after removal of a cancerous testicle: two doses of chemotherapy, lymph node dissection or "active surveillance," which requires frequent CT scans.
According to the authors, in the 1980s active surveillance emerged as an attractive alternative to surgical removal of the retroperitoneal lymph nodes or chemotherapy in men with early-stage testicular cancer. Chamie, now a urology fellow at UCLA, said the surveillance choice is particularly popular among younger men, who fear the potential side effects of aggressive surgery or chemotherapy such as ejaculatory
|Contact: Dorsey Griffith|
University of California - Davis Health System