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Inguinal orchiectomy is curative in 70–80% of clinical stage I testicular germ cell tumours (CS I TGCT). The identification of patients who are at low risk of relapse is critical to avoid unnecessary treatment. The aim of this study is to explore EGFR, hMLH-1/hMSH-2 and microsatellite instability (MSI) as potential prognostic factors of recurrence in CS I TGCT.
Fifty-six CS I TGCT patients who underwent inguinal orchiectomy were included in this study. We analysed the relationship between clinicopathological and molecular factors with survival. Analysis of hMLH1, hMSH2 and EGFR expression was carried out by immunohistochemistry. Methylation status of the hMLH1 promoter was determined by pyrosequencing analysis in selected cases. EGFR exons 19, 20, 21 were analysed by PCR labeled-fragments and MSI status was determined using standard Multiplex MSI assays.
Classical pathological factors such as lymphovascular invasion, high percentage of embryonal carcinoma, rete testis invasion or tumour size ≥4 cm showed a significant relationship with a higher risk of relapse. Additionally, it was found that an epididymis invasion proved to be a significant independent poor prognostic factor of recurrence (p = 0.001). hMLH1 or hMSH2 expression showed no significant association with risk of relapse and no MSI was found. EGFR expression was observed in 30.4% of samples and its expression was associated with higher risk of relapse (HR 3.5; 95% CI 1.3–9.8; p = 0.016). None of the cases presented EGFR kinase domain mutations.
Epididymis invasion and EGFR expression, but not hMLH-1/hMSH-2 or MSI, could be potentially useful as new prognostic factors of recurrence for CS I TGCT.