Pre-orchiectomy tumor marker levels should not be used for International Germ Cell Consensus Classification (IGCCCG) risk group assignment



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.

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Correspondence to Joerg Beyer.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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Informed consent was waived by the local ethic committee (STV KEK-ZH 25-2008).

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Fankhauser, C.D., Gerke, T.A., Roth, L. et al. Pre-orchiectomy tumor marker levels should not be used for International Germ Cell Consensus Classification (IGCCCG) risk group assignment. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 145, 781–785 (2019).

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  • Testicular germ cell tumor
  • Biomarkers, tumor
  • Prognosis